There is a lot of things being said and written around leadership every day. Rightfully so. Guiding companies and more importantly people through work life is a fundamentally important task that should ideally be done right. A lot of the “modern” leadership concepts seem to say that classical humanistic education can be neglected in favor of actual people skills. What I find interesting about that is: aren’t people skills at the basis of humanistic education?
Ancient Greek philosophers got the world right, right?
I can’t help but wondering over and over again whether most of the “modern” leadership ideas aren’t in fact things that have been around for centuries. Maybe they have started to be forgotten but obviously shouldn’t be. Leadership of course has to include the perspective of cultural education and a humanistic attitude. Central humanistic aspects include: involve employees, work on an equal footing, work error-free, trust people. Sounds familiar right?
Smart concepts are eternal
Humanistic education wants to empower people to shape themselves and the world through artistic action. By promoting the personal development of people, it also enables them to act responsibly in their environment. These principles guide the way right into a great leader. Someone who asks questions like: What do people need to thrive? Because if they are doing well, the company will be successful. A lot of classic leadership theories started with the company. The starting point for good leadership is people. An idea that is nothing but new.
“An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements” (Quoted from Vilfredo Pareto)
The starting point is people
The perspective shift makes a big difference. Leaders that take an approach like that lead on an equal footing, recognize and use the added value of diversity, are not afraid of change, but rather the desire and the courage to be creative, and can endure that change is a development process and that there is no immediate result. And they would be aware of their responsibility not only for the company, but for society. Their skills and experience that it is not just about a good professional education. Cultural education that promotes personal development and an awareness of social responsibility will be an important topic.
So does it really not matter whether you know your Machiavelli to make you a good leader or not? What’s your experience?