Test 1 Question 4

Where do we see a leaders interest threatening the interests/good of the community? What are the solutions?

Refer to Keohane:

  • “When you see the minister thinking more of herself than you, and seeking her own profit in everything she does, she will not be able to carry out her duties appropriately, and you will never be able to trust her”
  • “Ministers must be able to think first of the good of the organization and concentrate on helping the leader succeed, rather than directly advancing their personal ambitions”
    • Solutions:
      • “Submit personal goals to those of the leader whom they have agreed to serve”
      • “Find another occupation”
      • “Appoint trustworthy ministers”
      • “Loyalty”

“Make shrewd judgements when choosing the most competent subordinates”

  • Pg 709
    • *A Leaders interest in Adapting to circumstance can threaten the community
    • “Even within the same cultural contexts and the same organizations, we can readily observe that some leaders flourish one day and come to grief the next, without appearing to have changed in character. This is because circumstances also change. Leaders who adapt their behavior to the times will prosper; those whose policies clash with the demands of the times will not. One leader who pursues a certain course or acts with a certain degree of circumspection, may achieve the end she seeks, and another may not; this results from nothing else except the extent to which their methods are or are not suited to the tenor of the times. For all these reasons, successful leadership cannot be explained simply as the possession of an identifiable set of personality traits. 5 Nonetheless, if we are to provide guidance for those aspiring to leadership, we can identify certain traits and skills that will likely prove useful in many settings. This will allow prospective leaders to determine whether they possess such traits or skills or have the rudiments and can with practice hone and develop them.”
    • *A leader’s patience can threaten the interest of the community
  • Pg 714
    • “For example, leaders need both patience and swiftness. In some situations they should be slow to take action, yet they must also not be afraid of their own shadows; bold action must be tempered by humanity and prudence so that overconfidence does not make the leader rash. Such counsels may seem unhelpful to the prospective leader because they do not come with instructions for knowing when to use one approach and when the other. As one of the best students of public administration has noted, proverbs about leadership often “occur in mutually contradictory pairs. ‘Look before you leap!’-but ‘He who hesitates is lost. Even if the apparent contradictions are frustrating, the advice is nonetheless sound. The key is being able to recognize when each of the attributes in the pair is needed. Success at leadership often depends on a good sense of timing, in choosing which issues are ripe to address and also in developing strategies and making decisions.36 Being good at making decisions means not only making those that most people, most of the time, think are correct, but also neither rushing to closure nor taking forever; failing to find this balance is a major pitfall for many leaders”

Refer to Plato’s Republic

  • The philosopher kings undesired for leadership
  • The philosopher king has wisdom because of their desire to learn
  • When wisdom is present in a community there is justice
  • Justice is what is needed to have an ideal community
  • The philosopher king must be enticed to lead in order to benefit the community.

Book 5 Education of Cyrus

Cyaxares is Jealous of Cyrus due to the fact his troops love Cyrus more than they do Cyrus.

[5.5.6] Cyaxares is Jealous of Cyrus’ Accomplishments. But when Cyaxares saw many fine, valiant men in the company of Cyrus, while his own escort was small and of little worth, he thought it a thing dishonourable, and grief got hold of him. So when Cyrus dismounted from his horse and came up to him, intending to kiss him according to custom, Cyaxares dismounted from his horse but turned away. He refused to kiss him and could not conceal his tears.

[5.5.7] Thereupon Cyrus bade all the rest withdraw and wait. And he himself caught Cyaxares by the hand, led him to the shade of some palm-trees away from the road, ordered some Median rugs to be spread for him, and begged him to be seated; then sitting down beside him, he spoke as follows:

[5.5.8] “In the name of all the gods, uncle,” said he, “tell me why you are angry with me; and what do you find wrong that you take it so amiss?” “Because, Cyrus,” Cyaxares then made answer, “while I am supposed to be the scion of a royal father and of a line of ancestors who were kings of old as far back as the memory of man extends, and while I am called a king myself, still I see myself riding along with a mean and unworthy equipage, while you come before me great and magnificent in the eyes of my own retinue as well as the rest of your forces.


5.5.9- 5.5.12


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