Today we hear from Andy Law, author of Work and Days: Daily wisdom from the Greeks and Romas to get you through your working day. This tip is all about leadership.
There is nothing more irritating than being briefed to do something by someone who has absolutely no experience of doing it themselves. And even more irritating is someone who asks you to behave in a way in which they do not behave themselves.
Leaders in business must lead by example. Not doing this very quickly leads to corrosion of character of the company. The company becomes unfocused, with a ‘don’t care’ attitude. If you are senior to someone in an organization, make sure that you are a role model. Hypocrisy is a very negative force.
Seneca had an interesting view on how he started out in life. It’s conventional to describe someone by talking about where and when they were born. If the birth was noteworthy for any particular reason (weight of babe, thunder and lightning on arrival) you might include that, Seneca’s view was different.
He thought that being born was actually quite a trivial matter. you might go on to live a good life; alternatively, things might not turn out so well for you. In fact, Seneca thought the odds on either were fifty-fifty. He did concede that being born was the very first step towards what happens in your life.
We may have advanced technologically and scientifically, but when it comes to raw intelligence we have progressed no further than the Greeks and the Romans. And when it comes to business and strategy, Greece and Rome could well be called the ‘Mothers of Invention’. We know the Ancient Greeks and Romans through their warfare, construction, science, oratory, technology, philosophy, drama and literature. But there were businessmen too. Traders, shopkeepers wholesalers, accountants, commercial travellers and so on. In this exciting new book we encounter famous names like Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Euripides, Cicero, Julius Caesar and Marcus Aurelius as well as many other clever thinkers from the past whose views on how to get through the working day are so contemporary you d think they were written yesterday.
You’ll discover an amazing emphasis on self-development, leadership techniques, the best use of time and the importance of caring for both our physical and mental health. Each day there is a small piece of wisdom from over one hundred of the world-class strategists, proven leaders, inspirational innovators, smart writers and successful power-brokers from the period of history that first taught us how to think and then taught us to lead and manage.
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