What Motivates a Leader ? In Reflection on motivational theories it was stated that "motivation" is another way of talking about psychology. What impels a person to do something? This invokes a discussion of your state of mind. Is your motivation altruistic or egotistical - be honest. Even in a simple case of showing someone how to do something, your ego can be an impediment. Placing that ego aside and acting out of a genuine desire to have the other person be able to do something effectively constitutes being a desirous leader. Obviously, this approach translates into a wider horizon, where a major leader, such as a governor or a president of a corporation can become a states person or dictator.
Underpinning your motivations are personal philosophies, or values. What do you think is important in life? We often learn by parable, analogies, and history, itself, so it is useful in this context to recount a discussion of values from Plato's Republic.
This work opens by Socrates having a dialogue with Thrasymachus, a rhetorical theorist and Chalcedonian sophist, stating that "might makes right".What, then, is "right"? Is it simply an imposition of ego, or are there higher values? Who are we, and why are we here? This sounds lofty and not "down to earth", but to ground oneself requires a solid thinking about how one is to proceed in life. Is life simply going through littering the trail one leaves behind by activity that does not contribute to the betterment of humanity, the pillars of which are those two essential questions? You may be in charge of a small project, but everything we do is contextual. That context includes an ethos - what we thing is important in life. That, in turn, underpins and ethical systems - the "shoulds" and "oughts". Finally, that general framework of values then tells us specifically what we should do, or morals. The article Philosophical foundations of Leadership addresses this, and before entering a situation in which others depend upon your conduct, you need to be assured of yourself, first. Consequently, you will be able to act according to principles and with a higher
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