What is leadership? Many people would say that it is the ability to get others to do what you want. But what if there was more to it than that? What if leadership was about using your knowledge and understanding of philosophy to help others achieve their goals? This blog post will explore the power of philosophy in leadership and discuss how leaders can benefit from its use.
Philosophy can be defined as the study of wisdom and knowledge. It is a system of thought that helps us critically think about the world around us and make better decisions. When it comes to leadership, philosophy can help leaders better understand their values and beliefs and those of their followers. It can also help leaders develop a more holistic view of leadership, which considers the needs of both the leader and the follower.
When considering the needs of followers, leaders can set themselves apart from other individuals. Leaders who use philosophy as a tool for leadership can see the big picture and make decisions based on what is best for the group, not just themselves. In addition, leaders who utilize philosophical thinking are better equipped to handle difficult situations and innovatively solve problems.
This is because philosophy encourages critical thinking and allows individuals to question their assumptions. It also helps us see things from different perspectives and find new solutions to old problems. More importantly, it is a framework for ethical decision-making. Immanuel Kant argued that moral decisions should be based on a universal law that everyone can agree upon. This is what is known as the categorical imperative.
In short, the categorical imperative is acting upon what is deemed as a duty rather than self-interest. For example, if you give a homeless person money, what is your motivation? Did you act to do an “act of kindness,” or did you act because you feel that all people must give money to those in need? If the motivation for acting was for a self-fulfilling need, then we act outside of our ethics rules. However, if we believe that all needy persons should be given money and act upon that framework, we are considered ethical.
This way of thinking can be applied to leadership to make sure that the leader is acting in the best interest of their followers. For example, are we acting on behalf of our followers to gain their trust and admiration? If so, we are acting outside of our ethical framework. However, if we make decisions based on what is best for our followers and what will help them achieve their goals, we are leading ethically.
Philosophy can be a helpful tool for leadership, but it is not the only tool available. Leaders must also be aware of their values and beliefs and those of their followers. They must also have a clear understanding of the needs of both the leader and the follower. Acting upon the benefits of our followers to make their workdays more enjoyable, with no credit taken and no accolades received, is the philosophically moral high ground of leadership.
While the above writings are the surface level of true philosophical thinking in leadership, the point should not be lost. As leaders, we must constantly be aware of our intentions. Our actions should not be taken to serve ourselves but rather to benefit those we should lead. This is the power of philosophy in leadership. It can change our mindset from a self-serving one to an other-centric one. When we act with the needs of our followers in mind, we can develop trust and respect, which are essential ingredients for successful leadership.