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.

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