- Elgar original reference
Edited by Chris Bilton and Stephen Cummings
Marcus Aureliusí Meditations is one the earliest complete treatises on the nature of leadership. Thinking back to Chapter 5 of this handbook, you can see how Aureliusís writings - ascetic, rational, almost Confucian in tone - might appeal to both East and West. Ironically, however, Meditations is currently well known in China while it is now largely overlooked in the English-speaking world. Perhaps its assessment of good leaders as modest and unassuming does not square with modern Western views of leaders as charismatic heroes with big egos leading their lesser-than followers? Whatever the reason may be, it is a great shame, given that Meditations contains a passage that we believe best sums up the qualities required for leading the development of a creative enterprise: in two centring ways. The first is about such a leader being at the centre of things; the second is about being a leading force that is centred. First, while innovation gives creativity a heart to move things forward and entrepreneurial drive gives it legs, it takes a quite different set of abilities to establish and lead an enterprise beyond the beachhead established through taking an innovation to market. In Parts III and IV of the book we will explore how moving on from the entrepreneurial launch to consolidate, sustain and move on to other beachheads requires a fertile organisational environment for innovators and entrepreneurs to continue to flourish and recreate.
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