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Leadership and the Professional - Essay Example

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Being a leader is definitely challenging but is also rewarding. Being a professional implies a leadership role and professionals are actively engaged in thinking, creating, and collaborating with others (among other things). Leadership and being a professional (having a career) are worthy goals that every one should strive for. …
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Leadership and the Professional
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Download file to see previous pages And since we live in a free society, there are always opportunities for people to seek after a “career” instead of merely a dead end job. Also, because society tends to value them more, professionals are typically paid the most money and awarded the most respect in society. Using Plato’s “The Republic,” Darwin’s “Origin of the Species,” Lenin’s “What is to be Done,” and “The Rule of St. Benedict” as a guide, this essay will explore what it means to be a modern professional and the moral and ethical dilemmas that professionals (leaders) have to routinely deal with.
Because professionals are regarded as experts in their fields, they are given greater authority within society and are viewed as leaders. It is a given that since we grant them this authority, they should use their influence wisely and be ethical and moral people in addition to having certain knowledge and skills. In other words, a professional should also strive to be a well-rounded person with a variety of positive character traits and skills. In “The Republic,” Plato referred to this type of person as a “philosopher-king.” Of course, all professionals are not kings, but his ideal of a philosopher-king can also be applied to any person who is in a significant leadership position.
Plato refers to ideal leaders of the State and “Guardians.” He also discusses virtually all the important traits that a Guardian should possess. He believed that leaders should possess not only intelligence and wisdom, but also courage, moderation, and justice. Furthermore, he said that a leader should possess knowledge and reason to rule over baser desires such as desire for money, food, and pleasure. In addition to all these traits, he believed that a leader was one who should have the wisdom to realize what makes for a good life and what makes for a bad one. Still, this is not all Plato believes a leader should posses. He also believes they should have the right temperament; meaning they’re not vicious yet not passive either. Also, this type of person should have a proper education, which he defines as an education that teaches a person to be truthful and just. He also placed a great emphasis in teaching mathematics and, later in a person’s education; the study of philosophy was viewed as the most important subject. Additionally, Plato believed that leaders should stand out from the group as the most virtuous (380 BC). Plato’s views imply that only a select minority are capable of being leaders. While this is mostly true in today’s society, nearly everyone is capable of pursuing a professional career and therefore becoming a leader. Also, Plato was not speaking about leaders in a business sense, but more in a political leadership or “ruling class” sense. However, I believe the ideas he sets forth are relevant to the modern professional as well. After all, because a professional is seen as an expert, they are leaders and people who others look up to for advice and enlightenment. In our society, professionals are basically given the authority to manage or govern in their particular field. Therefore, it is important that these professionals are taught and trained in philosophy as well as in the technical aspects of their profession. If Plato’s Guardians (managers and leaders) are virtuous and just, it will lead to a more productive and happier society. It is interesting that, like Plato, we live in a Democracy but there is still a lot ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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