What Has Made Our Nations (and Businesses) Great

Everyone knows about Trump’s election promise to “Make America Great Again” but does anyone understand what this means?

I suspect that there are as many opinions on this as there are people! What does “Great Again” mean? How far back do we need to go to determine what was great and what wasn’t? Who determines what was great and what is their decision based on?

Founding Values

Both Canada and the United States were established on Judeo-Christian values hundreds of years ago although we both took different routes to get there. The US was established through their revolutionary war against the British while Canada chose a somewhat longer but more peaceful path to independence.

So, what does this have to do with making our countries great and what does it have to do with business?

Foundation of our Nations

Judeo-Christian values established the foundation on which we have built our nations at every level; our governments, our judicial systems, our correctional systems, our economies, and our system of business.

Our success as democratic and free-enterprise nations could never have been built on the values of totalitarian systems like; communism, fascism, socialism, dictatorship, or an extremist religion based regime. These regimes simply cannot and do not provide the fundamentals necessary to create an environment that fosters a strong economy and nation.

One does not have to look to far to see failed totalitarian states like the old Soviet Union, North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and the current destruction being wrought by regimes like ISIS!

So, what are the Judeo-Christian values that established the foundation for our great countries?

What Made Our Nations (and Businesses) Great

There are many different values that have contributed to our success. What follows are what I believe are the top 10 (in no particular order or priority). I trust everyone will contribute to this post by commenting on these values and adding their thoughts on our nations founding values.

  1. There ARE moral absolutes. There is “right” and there is “wrong.” Just ask anyone who has been the victim of a crime or unjustly treated in business! This basis of right and wrong has created a safe environment for individuals to coexist and build nations of unprecedented strength! We must also not contaminate the right with just a “little bit” of wrong!
  2. Truth is sacred and we must preserve it. This does not mean spin-doctored, manufactured propaganda and half-truths. It means the simple truth. Society has drifted too far from the real truth and now half-truths and spin doctored media stories are accepted as fact. This is a destructive trend that constantly undermines our society.
  3. Human life from inception is of infinite value. It must be valued, respected, and protected.
  4. Our liberty is to be defended at all costs. Our individual freedom is one of the main drivers of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Liberty includes concepts like; freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion (but NOT established or state-supported religion.) The only real limitation on our freedom is where it imposes on the freedom or well-being of our fellow citizens.
  5. Human creativity is to be valued, promoted, and not suppressed. Creativity is obviously the basis of most innovations and market value.
  6. Establish justice and hate evil. Our society has legal systems and correction systems that punish evil. Unfortunately, this system has become watered down over the years because of politics, big money, and some special interest groups. We now have crimes that are committed where the perpetrators are either rewarded, not punished, or the punishment does not fit the crime. For example, why would a terrorist like Omar Khadr be awarded money by the Canadian justice system after he killed and maimed US soldiers?
  7. Hope for a better future.  This has been the driver of many immigrants moving to our countries. Canada and the US are a beacon of hope for enterprising entrepreneurs and hardworking individuals!
  8. Balance between compassion and the courageous confrontation of evil. This can be a tough value to properly discern and articulate but it is imperative that as nations we stand up as advocates for the marginalized and persecuted both inside our borders and outside our borders.
  9. One people of one nation.  Our values of life, freedom, and creativity should unite us as citizens of our countries. They should not cause segregation into ethnicities, religious organizations, sexual orientations, or any other special interest group. Unfortunately, we are treading down a very dangerous path where too many special interest groups are claiming special rights at the expense of society as a whole. We must:
    • be tolerant of each other and loving towards each other
    • NOT allow segregation and special interest groups to divide our great countries
    • have less segregation and more integration and unity
  10. We must honor and use our natural resources responsibly. This includes our forests, wetlands, livestock, wildlife, and environment in general. When this gets out of balance our nations will suffer. For example, we need to implement a strategy for our oil and gas pipelines that gets our natural resources to markets safely and economically, protects the environment, and doesn’t infringe on the rights of our citizens.

Stand Up and Take Action

What can business leaders do to help make our nations great again?

Firstly, take a look at your business and ensure that the values your business are espousing are modeled correctly and baked into the fabric of your business. Are these values in alignment with the values that make our nation great?

Secondly, it is time that we stand up for what made our countries great and push our governments to re-establish and/or re-enforce these basic values. We need to continue to build the nations that our relatives fought and died to establish and protect! Engage your local political representatives and ensure that the voice of business and free enterprise has proper representation.

It is not up to Donald Trump or Justin Trudeau to make our nations great again! It is up to us – business leaders – to stand up for what made our nations great and demand positive and productive change!

Finally, take a look at these related posts for more information.


A visionary company almost religiously preserves its core ideology, changing it seldom, if ever.  Core values in a visionary company form a rock-solid foundation and do not drift with the trends and fashions of the day.” Jim Collins


What is your opinion on what values make our nations great? Leave your comments below!

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