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Timeless Leadership with Ancient Wisdom: Greatness Defined

The state of our world has never been closer to the precipice. We are living at extremely unpredictable times; with massive political unrest, climate change, and societal divide constantly driving us at the edge of total chaos. These negative events, while also caused by human greed, can be traced back to a root cause: the lack of good leadership.

For thousands of years, Stoicism has been the barometer by which great leaders have measured themselves. If Marcus Aurelius exists today, he would sum up all the possible solutions into one sentence: to “go straight to the seat of intelligence”. More than ever, now is the time to deeply reflect about our priorities, not as just citizens of a nation, but as children of the earth

As typical citizens, we have the power to measure and determine who can lead us, or even how we may be able to lead. Philosophers of old have determined what makes a great leader, which we can all use as a standard: that they focus on what they can control, and that they possess humility which makes them teachable. We have witnessed what prideful and egotistic leaders can do, and how much damage incompetence and lack of innate compassion can lead to. Bad leaders make us regret the past, thinking “if only we did things differently,” instead of being excited about the future, which can only be possible if we had made good decisions in the first place.

Good leaders do not put themselves above the rest—they observe, they listen, and they act. They consider the long-term consequences of every action, and they don’t hesitate to learn even from children. They treasure wisdom above all.

Bad leaders make you think about the “what ifs”. What if we listened to the children when they said climate change is going to be at a point of no return in a few years’ time? What if we did not desecrate ancient lands and destroy natural resources? What if we were more sustainable?

Now that we have been dealt with these bad cards, our best bet is to turn to Ancient Wisdom—specifically, Stoicism. The essence of stoicism is it never surrenders itself to fate and instead fosters courage, resilience, and truth. It is refusing to bend to tyranny, making the right yet difficult decisions, and defending something based on principle. Today, many leaders are leading based on pride and ego instead of truth and principle. These leaders uncontrollably exploit lands, cause massive losses in biodiversity, and violate countless human rights. Ancient Wisdom has been blurred out of the picture, giving way to all these negative feedback loops we see every day. Fortunately, not all hope is lost: Biraci Jr Yawanawa, Leader of the New Hope Village, believes “ancient wisdom is within our grasp if we pursue it,” and that the way for us to be relieved from all of this is in the way of ancestral knowledge, and reconnection to nature. We have the power to change the course of history; to claim our right to live harmoniously and peacefully. To achieve this, we must incorporate the teachings of the ancient people who have mastered the art of synchronizing their lives around the protection of Mother Earth and the application of Stoic Wisdom.

Our society was always meant to thrive on Ancient Wisdom. We have always been connected to one another, like one huge living organism. As an old proverb stated, “If nature suffers, we suffer. Though if nature prospers, we prosper”. No one is above nature; no one is above her laws. Greed is a foolish trait for it assumes it can get away with destruction and chaos when it cannot.

The most obvious mark of a great leader is if they leave the world better than when they found it, for it is the culmination of all the sound decisions they have made throughout the course of their leadership. If children no longer worry about the state of our planet, if women—especially mothers—no longer worry about discrimination, and if people of every color can achieve prosperity and peace, then that is the only time we can say these leaders have done their job.

Athena Wisdom Institute have adopted Ancient Wisdom as their guiding principle and is working to achieve a world in which diversity and care of our planet is appreciated for the wellbeing of all.

Athena pioneers sustainable leadership practices in which ancient wisdom is blended with modern management in order to achieve a better quality of life for all.