Why A Classics Approach to Leadership?
It actively trains you to think outside of the box.
Plato would call this “thinking outside of the cave,” but really they’re both the same. A classical education shows you the contours of your imagination—allowing you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your personal “box.” Engaging in this process naturally expands the imagination because it gives you an acute level of self-awareness that not only helps you to be open to new ideas but trains you to be quick to identify the potential value in ideas that are different from your own.
It helps you to think strategically.
A classical education trains you to make wise decisions by carefully thinking through all of the potential consequences of your actions. In addition, a classical education helps you to identify the primary motivating factors at play in any given situation—whether it be a personal situation with another individual at work or a political situation at the local, national or even international level. This in turn allows you to analyze a situation accurately as you engage in the strategic decision-making process.
It gives you people and resource management skills.
A classical education intuitively teaches you how to analyze your given situation in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of any of your given resources—but especially in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of your employees as individuals. This makes you capable of deploying your resources and employees in the most efficient and effective manner possible for achieving your goals.
It imparts a knowledge of language and of rhetoric
that facilitates communication and negotiation with others.
Reading the Great Books exposes you to an array of authors who have demonstrated supreme mastery of the tools of language. Not only does a classical education provide a literary training in the methods of using language well, it teaches you the different strategies for expressing yourself most effectively and persuasively depending on your situation and audience.
It instills a love for virtue that summons you to excellence.
According to Louise Cowan, “Classics have become classics because they elicit greatness of soul.” Although a classical education provides an awareness of the consequences of both moral and immoral behavior, its most ennobling feature is that it imparts a deep appreciation of virtue for its own sake. Meanwhile, even as this education inspires a genuine desire for excellence, it teaches you how to distinguish between the reality and the mere appearance of virtue in the choices you face daily.