“Let no wise person be averse to undertaking the office of a magistrate: for it is both impious for a person to withdraw themselves from being useful to those in need of our services, and it is ignoble to give way to the worthless. For it is foolish to prefer being poorly led over leading well.” – Epictetus
We do not have to keep this thought in the narrow and unattractive realm of political office. At any time in our lives, if a potential leadership position appears and we know that we can make a positive influence in the lives of others by taking it on, we would be silly not to.
The important part to the idea is that we have to know that we will be making a positive impact on all of the people and the results we will suddenly be accountable for and to. If at any point, we find that our motivation or minds go towards the idea of, “Finally, I’ll be able to do things my way” or “This way I’ll be able to better care for my family” we should re-evaluate our motives and consider that perhaps we will not be acting in everyone’s best interest.
If however, we are in fact looking at the situation as one in which we are confident we will be making a positive impact, we would be short changing everyone involved and affected by the situation by not stepping in and assuming the role.
Leadership is hard. But with the right motives, the right respect for our own limitations and the right amount of humility, we can all make a difference when given the opportunity.
virtus fortis vocat