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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Learn from Plato: The Nature of Leadership

June 16, 2014, 5:48 PM

The Greeks gave us democracy. So we should stop and reflect from time to time on what they knew about effective leadership.

In the latest installment of Big Think Edge, philosopher Rebecca Goldstein teaches you how to be a good leader by following the teachings of Plato.

Good Leadership

“For Plato, the greatest challenge in being a good leader is to keep one’s own self-interest in check or to merge your own self-interest with the interests of the many,” says Goldstein.

To be a good leader, you don’t have to ignore your own self-interests; but you do have to make sure that your ego is in check and that you put the interests of those you’re leading above your own.

Qualities of a Good Leader

Leadership requires ambition—wanting to leave a mark on the world. An unchecked ego will get in the way and could lead to self-destruction. Good leaders have a purpose and an open mind which leaves them receptive to new ideas. Plato stressed these characteristics in “The Republic.”

The Importance of Self-knowledge

It may be difficult for the ambitious to pursue self-knowledge and confront their weaknesses. Plato was sympathetic to them in this regard but was adamant that they seek inner wisdom--the greatest source of true leadership.

For more on Plato’s thoughts on leadership and how to apply his teachings, subscribe for a 14 day trial to Big Think Edge and watch this clip from Goldstein’s exclusive workshop:


Learn from Plato: The Natur...

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