Be Inclusive

(This post is part of my series on leadership lessons in history.) The Roman empire promoted locals in conquered lands to trusted positions within the empire.  George Washington could have never become prime minister in England.  But in an earlier age he could have become a Roman senator (Peter Drucker has observed). Because of thisContinue reading “Be Inclusive”

Better Leaders Recruit Variety

The Parsi have lived in India for a long time.  Many centuries.  They still tell a legend of their journey to become one of India’s ethnic groups.   The Parsi were Zoastrians living in Persia.  Zoastrianism had been the main religion for 1,050 years, but when Arabs invaded and Islam became predominant, Parsi adherents becameContinue reading “Better Leaders Recruit Variety”

People Are Stupid But Harmless

It is very embarrassing to share, but this incident changed my understanding of how the world works.   When I was in high school, I was a member of the Disco Club.  I learned all the moves.  I wore elephant bell jeans: the cuffs slapped each other everywhere I walked, providing everyone a distant warningContinue reading “People Are Stupid But Harmless”

Kiss a Leper: Leadership and Self-Contrarianism

This post is part of my leadership lessons from history series. Leadership requires courage of conviction. Working up to that strength requires overcoming your personal fears. The Franciscans are a Catholic order that is impressive by many standards.  They somehow continually convince people (currently 14,000 friars) to give up every personal comfort.  They sponsor numerousContinue reading “Kiss a Leper: Leadership and Self-Contrarianism”

Great Leaders Reward Merit

Life as a nomad on the steppes of Central Asia must have been grim in the year 1200.   The climate is cold and dry.  You would spend everyday seeking grass for your animals to eat.  You hoped another tribe didn’t destroy your tribe and take your children as slaves. Your tribe was everything.  TheyContinue reading “Great Leaders Reward Merit”