Socrates, Plato & Aristotle and My Thoughts on Power

I love philosophy. And much of psychology also has appropriately been influenced by all 3 of the philosophers in the title. But I have also had wonderful experiences and lessons through my work with children, young staff, and later with the entrepreneurs and professionals I worked with for 35 years. In other words, experience is the best teacher I have had.

Briefly, Socrates believed in the individual, that true power exists in people being themselves. It is why his dialogues with his students are so meaningful. He pushed each to find and be open with their feelings and thoughts. Aristotle believed in democracy as the best form of governing. Conversely, Plato believed that a democracy would lead to weak leaders, creating opportunities for a strong leader (or dictator) to take over governing.

Of the three, I would lean towards Socrates as the example I am most for and, I believe, how I lived my life. I was there for the people who worked for me but had no thought whatsoever that they should be like me. What I wanted from them all, and later taught leaders, was that individuals should be as much themselves as possible. That it is the job of the leader to help bring this about as an example and mentor. A true leader cannot say and do otherwise.

The study of power and leadership is a must that nations, corporations, professionals, classroom teachers, and parents, most of all, need to bring to their inner circles and kitchen table. This is cut in marble. A leader cannot be less than what they hope for from others. This is easy to write and talk about but very difficult to do and be. It is why I suggest dialogue and study on the subject—and then “BEING.”

Power in our hands—Use it as love and learning—We all benefit.

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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