Take Responsibility For What You Do (Podcast)

If you’ve been assigned a job or a position, take responsibility for what you do.  Form your plans, put them into action, and stand by your decisions no matter what the consequences.  Don’t shirk responsibility, don’t pass the buck, and don’t look to create excuses if things don’t go as planned.  Our society is filled with buck-passers, dirtbags, and weasels who are always looking to affix blame for things on anyone but themselves.  We discuss details, using a conversation between President Lincoln and General U.S. Grant as a guide.

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You Have To Make The Call (Podcast)

When you are leading, you have to make the big decisions.  You have to make the call, not sit back, judge the prevailing winds, and cover your ass.  If you are unwilling to put yourself on the line, you are a worthless leader and have no business being there.  In this podcast, we discuss:

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You Will Be Judged (Podcast)

This is a crucial moment.  You will be judged by how you conduct yourself over the next few months.  As for philosophy, you want to talk the talk, but have you really internalized the messages of the philosophers?  We discuss shipwrecks in the ancient world, some lessons from the movie The Edge, and the crucial importance of maintaining a rigorous, disciplined schedule.  More than ever before, you have to be self-starter.  Your time is now.  You will not fail, because we will not permit you to fail.

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Captain Adolf Von Schell On Leadership And Composure In Adversity (Podcast)

Captain Adolf Von Schell was an infantry officer in the German Army during the First World War.  In 1930 he gave a series of lectures on battle leadership to American officers at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia.  These presentations were later collected into a book called Battle Leadership.  In this podcast, I read a short selection from Capt. Von Schell’s book, and discuss its relevance for today.

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Getting Your Mind Right (Podcast)

Are you holding yourself accountable every day by living a good life, a productive life?  Are your actions congruent with your words? We talk about that slime bag mentality, how it holds you back, and how those little voices in your head can lead you down the path of vices.  There are no shortcuts, no days off, no letups.  You need to be putting in work, and not retreating one inch.  Ever.

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Where Have All The Leaders Gone? (Podcast)

Does it sometimes seem as if there are no leaders of substance any more? That, as we look around the world, or around our nation, every so-called “leader” is a mediocrity who does nothing of consequence? Did leaders of previous eras have better character and overall fortitude? We ask whether this sweeping generalization has some elements of truth, and make some related observations.

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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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