When To Deliver A Rebuke, And When To Have Fun

There are times when a leader must deliver a sharp rebuke to someone in order to get him or her back on the right track. It is a technique that has to be used carefully, as it is not appropriate for every situation. We relate an anecdote in which the holy man Athanasios of Athos used it effectively.
We then turn to some irreverent fun, with a reading of some of the tweets of the G Manifesto (on Twitter: @MichaelPorfirio).

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The Wisdom And Character Of Athanasios Of Athos

Of all the great and sanctified names of Mount Athos, few inspire more veneration than that of Athanasios.  He lived from about A.D. 925 to 1001, and occupies a central place in the development of the monasticism there.  As a young man he was a teacher and scholar in Constantinople, and mixed with the upper classes of that great city; he knew personally the Byzantine emperor Nicephoras II Phocas and served as his spiritual advisor.  But at some point he underwent some kind of conversion experience, and abandoned his old life to pursue the road of religion.  This pattern is not unknown among great holy men; we find it often repeated in the histories of the world’s great faiths.

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Ibn Zafar’s Ideas On Revolutions

 

A careful reading of Ibn Zafar al-Siqilli’s (“The Sicilian”) masterpiece of political philosophy Sulwan al-Muta’ (سلوان المطاع في عدوان الأتباع, or The Consolation of the Ruler in Dealing with the Hostility of His Subjects) shows an emergent theory of political revolutions.  In a previous article here we have discussed the fundamentals of the subtle Sicilian’s treatise.  We will now give the details of his ideas on how revolutions are born and take hold in a nation.

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When To Wait, And When To Strike

There are times in a leader’s experience when it will be prudent to watch and await developments.  Sometimes more is to be gained by figuratively taking off one’s pack, sitting down on the side of the road, and monitoring the flow of events, than by leaping into the fray.  On the other hand, there are also just as many–if not more–times when decisive and speedy action is necessary to deal with a nascent problem.  Knowing when to wait and when to act is one of those key questions that we all have to confront sooner or later.  It is ultimately a tactical decision for which no firm rules can be laid out:  every situation must be evaluated on its own merits.

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Revealing Anecdotes On The Character Of Abraham Lincoln

We have earlier stated that anecdotes often reveal more about a man’s thinking and character than might a long recounting of his deeds.  About Abraham Lincoln many stories have been told, some no doubt apocryphal, others not.  I will present here a few true anecdotes that most readers are not likely to be familiar with; they shed revelatory light on Lincoln’s character, and how his leadership gifts were powerful in their own understated way.

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Leadership Questions: Pulling The Trigger, And Dealing With A Passive-Aggressive Boss

Two different readers ask questions from their own personal experience:
1. One man is trying to overcome feelings of discomfort when ordering his men to go places where they may face certain harm.
2. Another man is trying to deal with a boss whose passive-aggressive comments may mean trouble for him.

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