The rhetorician Libanius, who lived from about A.D. 314 to 392, wrote a letter of consolation to the emperor Julian after the city of Nicomedia was devastated by an earthquake in A.D. 358. The letter contains the following sentence:Continue reading
The Emperor Julian Cleans House With Bold Reforms
When a new leader assumes a position, it is often necessary for him to undertake significant reforms. If he wishes to make lasting changes to the system, he should undertake to do so both quickly and boldly. To wait too long is to risk seeing one’s foes united against you; and when embarking on a course of reform, it must be made clear that the old ways of doing things will no longer do. Bold adjustments are often more effective than half-hearted measures.
Getting A Point Across With Tact And Authority
One feature of great men is that they generally know how to handle themselves in a variety of situations. They tend to be flexible and agile; they will know when to scold, when to chastise, when to use the velvet glove, and when to use the hammer. Only the experience of life can impart this kind of wisdom. But we can at least prepare ourselves in some ways. One of these ways is to read the letters of such men. See how they interact with their peers. Study how they solve various problems or issues that fall on their desks. You will spend a good part of your life “putting out fires” at work and at home, so you might as well learn from the masters.
Some Wisdom From Libanius
It is a pleasant thing to discover pearls of wisdom buried in the tomes of forgotten writers. We are reminded of the persistence of human wisdom, and its ability to persist down the arches of the years in all conditions and environments, whether favorable and unfavorable.
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