I have touched on this topic in other posts briefly but I would like to elaborate.
In the world we live in today we are accustom to seeing a lot of corruption and dishonesty. In various places we see that the motives of leaders are for just the leader’s self interest. A leader must have clear motives and he or she must be able to expect arguments, debates, or challenges by their followers. This is an expectation of being a leader.
Aristotle was the student of Plato, who was the student of Socrates
I’m a very big fan of Socrates, essentially the ‘Godfather’ of philosophy. He was the equivalent of Sigmund Freud with psychology. Socrates meant the world to his followers but he never published anything or wrote down any of his works. This is where Aristotle comes into play because he was one of Plato’s best students. Plato was one of Socrates’ students. Aristotle learned a great deal from Plato and subsequently Socrates and came up with his own philosophy.
Three quotes really come to my mind when thinking about Aristotle and Socrates and what we can learn from them about leadership. The first being, “a friend to all is a friend to none” and the second, from his metaphysics, is ,”being qua being”. The first quote is not all that hard to decipher but the second one is deeper. “Being qua being.” When you break it down it means essentially, ‘what is the essence of oneself?’ What is your makeup? What has made you the way you are today? The last quote is from Socrates in the Crito, (which Plato wrote) where he says before he drinks the sap from the hemlock, “It is not living that is important, but living rightly.” Continue reading
Quite often, I am confronted with people who are ask me if there is one thing about leadership, one principle, one rule, what would that be?
During my undergraduate coursework, I worked with a professor who was a leadership guru. He was always quoting Peter Drucker. One of the quotes that stuck out the most, was “leadership has nothing to do with charisma”. The most charismatic leaders of the 20th century, were also the worst.
As we all know leadership and philosophy are closely related. They often go hand and hand. Below I have listed some books that I have read. I would recommend any of these books to someone in a leadership role. Each book has its own unique way of pulling out important factors of becoming a successful leader. I have taken a few good teachings from these books and I have applied them to my leadership abilities. Feel free to comment and share your readings with us.
Kouzes & Posner- The Leadership Challenge
John Kotter- Our Iceberg is Melting
Douglas Barry- Wisdom for a Young CEO
John C. Maxwell- The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader
Donald T. Phillips- Lincoln on Leadership (Executive Strategies for Tough Times