When I consider the value of make decisions with our honor and integrity intact, my mind often wanders to the old lore of knights who adhered to a code of honor, or a code of chivalry. This continues in a different form today. There are codes of honor for everything from colleges, to geocaching, to news groups. You can observe it in the values of a corporation, and in the public policies of a non-profit. But what was the code of chivalry? Where did it come from and are there any parts of it that could still hold up in today’s society? Why is it a Mytech value?
The term chivalry comes from an old French term “chevalerie” which is translated to “horse soldiery” or “horsemanship”. While it is hard to prove when chivalry first appeared, it supposedly started in about 1170 in France. The idea spread, and chivalry came to be understood as a code of conduct. The particulars of the code may vary, but the ideas of courage, valor, and more would often stay the same. As time has gone on the code of chivalry moved to literature. King Arthur legends are often held as an ideal code of chivalry, emphasizing charity, justice, prudence, truth, diligence, wisdom, and hope. A knight’s integrity would be measured on how strongly he held to his code.
I like to think that the ideas of chivalry are something everyone can embrace. They seem to be making a comeback under the name “corporate values”. Common corporate values include learning, collaboration, communication, helping the community, and accountability. These are very similar to the code mentioned above, trading wisdom for learning, charity for community and diligence for accountability.
When we developed our values we knew that decision-making had to be part of the list. Making decisions impacts clients, vendors, and co-workers. When we make a decision with our honor and integrity intact, we hold the decision to our Mytech values, or our own code of chivalry. This value also empowers us to follow through with that decision.