Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Latin Lessons in Leadership

I am passionate about leadership and have often said that good leadership inspires me, while bad leadership motivates me.  It is why I love books like The Multiplier Effect:  Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools and regularly attend the Global Leadership Summit, where leaders from the worlds of business, government, non-profits, and churches (including heavy hitters like Gen. Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Jim Collins, Liz Wiseman, and Bono) gather to help each other stay sharp.  As a result, leadership is a running theme throughout the levels of Latin I teach.  I point out to students that they will all lead something...a company, a Little League team, a project at work, a government, a family.  It is never too early to start thinking about how.

In our Latin I textbook, we read a story about the first king of Rome, Romulus.  It is historical fiction and based on the limited, simple vocabulary in the early part of a first-year textbook, but there is a line that always draws our attention.  Romulus says to the people, "Rome will be great.  You will be famous."  There is no ancient source for this, but that does not matter.  This quote illustrates a key leadership principle.  It is not enough to tell people their organization will be great.  Leaders must connect vision to the lives of the people themselves.  A leader may have a fantastic idea, but the people all want to know, "How does this affect me?  How will my life be different?  Will it make things better for me?"

We do not spend a long time discussing this.  After all, we have our basic grammar to learn in Latin I.  It is not enough, though, just to learn our nouns and verbs, and even when reading a bit of historical fiction, we must take time to draw out what is important.

No comments:

Post a Comment

While I welcome thoughts relevant to discussions of education, comments that are vulgar, insulting, or in any way inappropriate will be deleted.