The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius ruled from 161 to 180 A.D. Aurelius is renown for being the ideal wise leader whom Plato called the “philosopher king.” His book, Meditations (from which By George has often quoted), has inspired leaders for centuries because of its timeless wisdom about human behavior.
Here are 10 rules, as prescribed by Marcus Aurelius, that every great leader should know and practice.
1. Understand that people exist to help one another. Mankind was meant to live in harmony, “That we came into the world for the sake of one another.”
2. Be mindful of others’ humanity. Every person has dignity and pride.
3. Realize that many mistakes, even egregious ones, are the result of ignorance.
Punishment or chastisement should thus be done in an educational way.
4. Do not overly exalt yourself. “You’re just like them.”
5. Avoid quick judgments of others’ actions. “A lot of things are means to some other end. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding.”
6. Maintain self-control. You can choose to spend your time and energy languishing over things that have already happened, or you can choose to be calm and address any problems that arise.
7. Recognize that others can hurt you only if you let them. The only actions that should truly hurt you are things you do that are shameful, since you are in control of your own self-worth and values.
8. Know that pessimism can easily overtake you. “How much more damage anger and grief do than the things that cause them.”
9. Practice kindness. Sincere kindness is “invincible” and more powerful than any negative transgression.
10. Do not expect bad people to exempt you from their destructive ways. It is “the act of a tyrant” to think that you can try to change these kinds of people or persuade them to treat you differently.
To read more on these rules click here.
Read more in the By George Journal of this great leader and sage here: Marcus Aurelius
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