Leadership Lessons from Plato

“The Myth of the Cave” is one of the most famous stories from The Republic. In it, Plato explains to his disciples that the mind sees what it wants, and ignores what it wants.


Philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein, the author of Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, brings the Greek philosopher into the modern age. And by doing so, she explains why we should stop and reflect on his philosophies.

In this exclusive workshop for Big Think Edge, Goldstein breaks down leadership lessons from Plato and how we can apply them. The Republic may have been a work that you were forced to analyze in school, but in today’s sped-up business world, Plato’s lessons on ethics and self-knowledge are more important than ever.   

“It’s about, you know, making a life that’s big and meaningful, and that's going to make an impact, a good impact,” says Goldstein.

Self-knowledge and a checked ego are just some of the qualities of a good leader, according to Plato. He encouraged ambition—without it, people are not driven to leave a legacy, one that will benefit others for many years to come. Self-knowledge and a healthy dose of humility allow one to be open-minded and to make decisions that benefit the majority and not just preserve one’s own power.

 “That’s the core - what it is to be a good leader, and that’s the challenge,” she says.

Want to learn Plato’s leadership lessons? Subscribe to a 14 day trial of Big Think Edge.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.