Greetings dear readers,

As the saying goes…I trust this finds you, as it leaves me, in good health.

Seneca, former guiding hand of the Roman Empire and famed Stoic, suggests we have good reason to say, “I trust this finds you in pursuit of wisdom, for this is precisely what is meant by good health!”

On that note of wisdom, my husband and I had a fascinating conversation in a local café the other morning with Andonis, wise Greek grandfather, Sean Connery lookalike and café patron.

The wide-ranging conversation spanned truth, religion, history, family, culture, tradition, values, and ‘doing the right thing’…to name a few, the latter, fuelled in part, methinks, by a recent invitation he’d received to present a business case at an upcoming conference in Sydney on mining and the circular economy.

Andonis’ zeroing in on truth and ‘doing the right thing’ got me thinking about authentic leadership, no less, which has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy.

Brainchild of Bill George, Harvard professor and former CEO of Medtronic, it’s an emerging theory and style of leadership being embraced in the business world, and research has shown it to be the biggest predictor of an employee’s job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and workplace happiness.

Not a bad claim, eh?

So, what’s it about and can we perhaps take it home with us and apply it to how we lead our personal lives and navigate our relationships?

In a nutshell, there are 4 key components:

  1. Know thyself (self-awareness), what you stand for, your values, your strengths, your limitations and above all, lead from the heart. It smacks of Shakespeare’s quote “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
  2. Be genuine (relational transparency), don’t play games, be honest and straightforward. No hidden agendas.
  3. Be fair-minded (balanced processing), leave impulsivity at the door, be emotionally balanced, in control and consider all viewpoints and possible courses of action.
  4. Do the right thing (internalized moral perspective), which speaks to your ethical core, which is driven by your mission, i.e. who you are as a person, what your purpose is, how you plan to achieve it and why it’s so important to you. It’s also driven by your concern for fairness and your focus on results.

The above 4 components line up nicely with the ancient Greeks’ core virtues, namely: prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. There’s also a sprinkling of EQ (emotional intelligence, the greatest predictor of success in the workplace) in there for good measure too.

So, what do you think? Perhaps a little introspection as we nudge towards the latter part of January, named after the Roman god Janus, who apparently protected doorways, entrances, gates etc., symbolizing endings and beginnings?

Till next month, here’s to the pursuit of wisdom, leading with authenticity and connecting with your community in cafes.

I leave you in good health,

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