Helen Green

The Leadership Story

It’s said that there is nothing new under the sun but recent research suggests that some aspects of life may be far more ancient than we previously believed.

Researchers at Durham and Lisbon universities have been studying folktales and believe they have proved that some may date back at least five or six thousand years.

These include stories which were previously thought to have originated in the 16th and 17th centuries and have now been traced back to the time of Indo-European languages, way before the time even of classical mythology. The research got us thinking about other aspects of modern life which we may think we have invented but in actual fact has simply been rediscovered or re-imagined.

For example, some ideas which we now attributed to modern leadership can also be found in ancient times. In ancient Egypt concepts such as personal and collective ownership of tasks, collaboration, culture and innovation were all part of the landscape; particularly when it came to building the pyramids. Or how about ancient Greece where ethics, resilience and above all being a good role model were seen as key attributes of great leaders.

In fact, no matter where you look in history the great leaders are characterised by the way in which they cared for and looked after the welfare of their people. When future generations come to write your leadership story what will they show?