Updated: Apr 21, 2020
1. Nurture the virtues i.e. develop self-awareness and make decisions (choices) to act in alignment with your values.
2. Develop yourself to be able to excel in various types of situations over extended periods of time. I.e. seek to understand and build resilience.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence and quality are not acts, but habits”. (Aristotle)
Aristotle (382 BC – 322 BC) was a polymath who made fundamental contributions to diverse fields of study, including logic, rhetoric, ethics, physics, story, poetry, government, metaphysics, geology, zoology and philosophy.
According to Aristotle, to live well people should behave according to virtues that allow them to excel in many types of situations across time.
Each virtue relates to a vice, which can either exist in deficiency or excess. He believed that we should strive to live a life of moderation, nurturing the virtues within ourselves and avoiding the vices on either extreme.
Below are some examples of situations where the leader’s choice of behaviour indicates whether they are acting virtuously or not.
You can use the table to take a pulse check on your level of leadership virtuosity by highlighting your most common reactive leadership behaviour to each of the 9 listed situations.
Cowardice - Vice of Deficiency
Courage - Virtue
Foolhardiness -Virtue of Excess
2. SATISFACTION OF APPETITES
Inhibition - Vice of Deficiency
Temperance - Virtue
Overindulgence - Virtue of Excess
3. GIVING GIFTS
Miserliness - Vice of Deficiency
Generosity - Virtue
Extravagance - Virtue of Excess
4. PURSUIT OF GOALS
Aimlessness - Vice of Deficiency
Ambition - Virtue
Ruthless drive - Virtue of Excess
5. SELF APPRAISAL
Feelings of inferiority - Vice of Deficiency
Pride - Virtue
Vanity -Virtue of Excess
6. RESPONSE TO INSULTS
Apathy - Vice of Deficiency
Patience - Virtue
Irascibility - Virtue of Excess
7. SOCIAL CONDUCT
Rudeness - Vice of Deficiency
Friendliness - Virtue
Submissive - Virtue of Excess
8. AWARENESS OF ONE’S FLAWS
Shamelessness - Vice of Deficiency
Modesty - Virtue
Shyness - Virtue of Excess
Boorishness - Vice of Deficiency
Wittiness - Virtue
Buffoonery - Virtue of Excess
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. (Aristotle)