The Golden Rule: Why you might want to reconsider it

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Platinum Rule

Do unto others as you would want done to you.

It hasn’t always been called “The Golden Rule,” but this model of ethical reciprocity has a long history among many cultures and religions.

“Various expressions of this fundamental moral rule are to be found in tenets of most religions and creeds through the ages, testifying to its universal applicability,” British Philosopher Antony Flew states in A Dictionary of Philosophy. And Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, supports Flew’s statement that the concept is one that essentially all religions express in one way or another.

Before recently, I never questioned “The Golden Rule.” It’s used all over the world so it must be the way to go. Plus, my mom said so, which makes it right. Right?

Not always. Last week I read an article by Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local, Powerful Leadership: Do Unto Others As They Would Want Done. Not far into the article I realized, “Well yeah, that makes perfect sense.”

Do unto others as THEY would want done to them.

In his evaluation, Kerpen shares how he coined “the ‘Platinum Rule’: Do unto others as they would want done to them.” Even though “The Golden Rule” has been stamped into my brain, I appreciate Kerpen’s ability to step back and recognize it could be flawed.

I agree with Kerpen’s “Platinum Rule” because it’s the client-focused approach to customer service. It’s silly to assume that what works for me is the same as what my client or team members desire. Or that what one client needs is the same as another. I know this to be true, but reading about the “Platinum Rule” was a good reminder about the unique needs of individuals and taking the time to identify them.

No worries, mom. I might not ditch “The Golden Rule” all together. But I’ll certainly remember “The Platinum Rule” now, too.

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