Thoughts on Leadership
In Plato's “The Philosopher King,” an excerpt from The Republic, he finely draws out the kind of person he envisions would render the ability to guide his people to a flawless order. His is fearless and distinctly specifies the characteristics this leader should possess. Leadership is a challenging role to precisely define and I have found that I am yet to be able to do it. In past class discussions we have discussed as a whole what common traits we typically believe a leader should have and I rarely find myself in disagreement. It seems as if there are attributes that a leader stereotypically has, but as I read Plato's excerpt, I felt naïve and inexperienced. I started with a nod after every trait listed, thinking how dumb I was for not coming up with these myself, and later found myself shaking my head with an added “are you kidding me?” Plato defines the role of a leader to a perfect T; in my eyes at least, but it is the role of society as a whole I found myself disagreeing with.
As I read, I took the liberty of jotting down the specific features of Plato’s ideal leader; each feature is descriptive and made very lucid. He first compares a philosopher with the ordinary man, saying that the philosopher king “grasp(s) what is always the same in all respects,” and ordinary men “wander among the many things that vary in every sort of way” (Phi Theta Kappa, 2006, p.4). A leader must be able to act as a guardian; he must watch over the city’s most prized possession, their constitution. He must be keen-sighted and never blind; he must be able to touch on any topic there is. Plato’s ideal leader must be superior in virtue than the common man. He must have experienced more in order to truly know more. He must embody honesty and hate deceit for all his people will trust him. He has to be a lover of wisdom, for someone who is not could not truly love to learn. He must not be a lover of money as a true leader finds no connection to materialistic...
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