Summary of “Aztec moral philosophy didn’t expect anyone to be a saint”

While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centred virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centred virtue ethics.
One of the advantages of the Aztec view is that it avoids this outcome by casting virtue as a cooperative, rather than an individual, endeavour.
At its core, Aztec virtue ethics has three main elements.
To explain the Aztec conception of the good life, it’s helpful to begin in the sixth volume of a book called the Florentine Codex, compiled by Father Bernardino of SahagĂșn.
The passage is striking because it highlights a fundamental difference between the Ancient Greek and the Aztec approaches to the good life – namely, that the Aztecs did not believe there was any conceptual link between leading our best lives on the one hand, and experiencing pleasure or ‘happiness’ on the other.
‘ The Aztecs held, in short, that it’s unrealistic to think that anyone can lead a perfectly good life, one in which you never slip up.
Public drunkenness was severely punished in Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire; for nobles, the penalty was death.
How we develop this understanding of virtuous action leads us to the final pillar of Aztec ethics.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jared Kushner’s Middle East Peace Plan Could Backfire”

While dozens of Palestinians in Gaza were killed in clashes with the Israeli Defense Forces, the Trump administration chose neither to express sympathy for the Palestinians killed nor to join international calls for Israeli restraint.
Trump has, on the other hand, cut financial assistance for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency out of pique that the Palestinians have not given him the requisite “Appreciation or respect,” as if humanitarian aid, even when it serves U.S. national interests, should be awarded in return for flattery.
It is no surprise that the Palestinians stopped talking to the administration.
These changing regional perspectives do not mean Arab leaders will expend the political capital to deliver the Palestinians, even if they could.
The fourth fantasy is that the Palestinians can be bought off with economic assistance to compensate for political losses.
In his interview with the Palestinian newspaper, Kushner suggested that the Trump administration could “Attract very significant investments in infrastructure that will lead to increases in GDP and we also hope a blanket of peaceful coexistence.” Putting aside that the Trump administration has not even made or been able to attract major investments in U.S. infrastructure, which makes one wonder about the West Bank and Gaza, this emphasis on economic issues has been tried unsuccessfully many times before.
During the Oslo era of the 1990s, then the 2002 Roadmap for Peace and the Bush administration’s Annapolis process, and finally Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort during the Obama administration, successive U.S. administrations have tried to enhance the prospects for peace by improving conditions on the ground.
No Palestinian leader can survive in office by promising economic benefits alone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Your Emotional Intelligence Authentic, or Self-Serving?”

Plenty of research has documented manipulative misuses of emotional intelligence – the intentionally subtle regulating of one’s emotions to engineer responses from others that might not be in their best interest.
The capacity to understand and share others’ feelings creates authentic connection and deepens trust.
Being attuned to the spoken and unspoken concerns of others demonstrates an openness to their views, a willingness to engage ideas different from ours, and honors the courage of others to express divergent perspectives.
Unaware of the tension between a genuine desire to take in others’ views and a need to be right, leaders can feign listening while actually trying to lure others to their side without realizing they’re doing it.
Keenly self-aware leaders detect how others experience them, actively solicit critical feedback from others, and accurately acknowledge their strengths and shortfalls.
Genuinely self-aware leaders face that insecurity head on, and don’t put the burden of soothing it on others.
Our ability to express emotional intelligence is sometimes impaired by unacknowledged, unhealthy, emotional needs.
If you want to genuinely employ effective emotional intelligence skills, pay attention to the unaddressed scars and voids lurking beneath the surface of your inner emotional landscape.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written Into Arctic Ice”

They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.
Why does the amount of lead in the atmosphere tell us something about the Roman economy? “It’s a proxy for coin production. That’s the biggest thing,” said Seth Bernard, a professor of ancient history at the University of Toronto.
The new paper contains findings that Roman historians can already apply to their work.
In 218 B.C. when Rome fought with Carthage in the Second Punic War, lead pollution appears to fall-and then it rises, abruptly, as Roman soldiers seized Carthaginian mines in southern Spain and put them to use.
The Crisis of the Roman Republic-the series of civil wars and political strife, spanning 134 B.C. to 27 B.C., that brought the Roman Republic to an end- were associated with a broad period of economic stagnation and disintegration, the study finds.
Lead emissions are not a perfect record of Roman prosperity because scholars still don’t know how Rome thought about its economy.
So scholars have argued about whether Roman leaders ignored liquidity or inflation, simply ordering a new round of coins whenever the government faced a large expense; or whether leaders managed money more strategically.
These simulations allow scientists to estimate how air from the Iberian peninsula-air that, in Roman times, would have been full of lead pollution-wafted up to the Greenland ice sheet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Leaders, Stop Avoiding Hard Decisions”

In an effort not to upset others or lose status in the eyes of their followers, they concoct sophisticated justifications for putting off difficult decisions, and the delay often does far more damage than whatever fallout they were trying to avoid.
Hard decisions often get more complicated when they’re deferred.
As a leader gets more senior, the need to make hard calls only intensifies.
In our ten-year longitudinal study of more than 2,700 leaders, 57% percent of newly appointed executives said that decisions were more complicated and difficult than they expected.
In my 30 years working with executives, I’ve heard leaders commonly use three rationalizations for putting off difficult decisions.
Under the guise of fairness, leaders often avoid hard decisions that would separate out stronger performers from average performers, and, even more painfully, they fail to remove poor performers.
Rather than picking the two best presenters on your team to do most of the talking during your company’s next all-hands meeting, it might seem more “Fair” to share that high-visibility task among your entire team – essentially avoiding the decision.
Sometimes hard decisions are unfair to some but people need to know you are equitable in how you make them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Power of Leaders Who Focus on Solving Problems”

The talk has covered a lot more than this, as Ming has touched on many initiatives and startups she’s been involved with, all solving problems at the intersection of advanced technology, learning, and labor economics.
She’s an entrepreneur, a CEO, and a teacher – all leadership roles – but when we ask her about her leadership style, she demurs.
“What I’ve learned about myself as a leader, as an executive, is – I’ll be blunt – I’m a pretty mediocre manager. I try to do the right things, but I’m much more focused on problems than I am on people, and that’s not always that healthy.” While she’s utterly confident in herself, she just doesn’t identify as top management.
“For a long time, I tried to be the whole package. I put a lot of energy into making certain that I was shepherding everyone along, doing all the right things for my teams. Then I realized: You know what? If I can get some people that are really good at the things that I’m not, then I can focus on my strengths. And my strengths are in creative problem solving – all the way down to writing the code myself.”
The attitude she’s espousing doesn’t really map to the traditional image of the enterprise leader, or to what typically gets taught in leadership development programs.
Over the past year, as faculty director and executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, we have been trying to put a finer point on a distinctive style of leadership we keep seeing all around us.
Cautiously, we called it problem-led leadership, and launched into all the interviewing, case studying, and literature review that goes into a leadership research project.
Having fallen in love with a problem, they step up to leadership – but only reluctantly, and only as necessary to get it solved.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 45 Qualities Every True Leader Must Have”

What are the qualities which a leader should possess? There have been many attempts at listing the many good qualities which a leader should possess, and cataloguing those undesirable characteristics which he should not possess or should minimize or eliminate.
The qualities of the leader may be grouped according to different methods.
They may be separated into personal characteristics and professional capabilities; they may be classed as physical, mental, and moral qualities; or they may be considered as those qualities related to the leader himself, and those related to the individuals whom he aspires to lead. Merely to enumerate the desirable qualities of a leader would accomplish little.
The leader who can promptly estimate what his fellows will do under a certain set of circumstances, and who then can make a sound decision based upon the conditions as he sees they will develop, possesses qualities which place him upon a high level of leadership.
Sincerity of purpose, like enthusiasm, in a leader is soon transmitted to those whom he aspires to lead. Sham, hypocrisy, and bluff are all too readily unmasked, and he who attempts to conceal his ignorance or to “Alibi” his mistakes will soon find himself not only a dethroned leader but an outcast from the fellowship of team-mates.
These qualities are much to be sought for and developed in the follower as well as in the leader.
For those who follow to know that their leader will not desert them and that he is bending every effort toward their welfare and devoting every fiber of his being to their benefit is to call forth from them the last ounce of eager, loyal, and whole-hearted cooperation.
Two qualities which are assets to the leader are patience and a sense of humor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Common Type of Incompetent Leader”

Rather, his boss was a leader in title only – his role was leadership, but he provided none.
Absentee leadership rarely comes up in today’s leadership or business literature, but research shows that it is the most common form of incompetent leadership.
Absentee leaders are people in leadership roles who are psychologically absent from them.
Absentee leadership resembles the concept of rent-seeking in economics – taking value out of an organization without putting value in.
Clearly, from the employee’s perspective, absentee leadership is a significant problem, and it is even more troublesome than other, more overt forms of bad leadership.
The impact of absentee leadership on job satisfaction outlasts the impact of both constructive and overtly destructive forms of leadership.
Absentee leadership creates employee stress, which can lead to poor employee health outcomes and talent drain, which then impact an organization’s bottom line.
The war for leadership talent is real, and organizations with the best leaders will win.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 Harsh Truths That Will Improve Your Leadership Skills Overnight”

You don’t manage people; you lead people and manage the work.
If you find yourself in the precarious position of wondering “Where do I stand as a leader,” at some point you must face some brutal truths about what it takes to motivate and inspire on a human, emotional, and psychological level.
The brutal truth that good leaders will first pump the fear out of the room.
Every leader needs to ask a very important, look-in-the-mirror, question: “Does my behavior increase trust?” If you are considering elevating your leadership skills, trust is a pillar your leadership should stand on.
The brutal truth that good leaders are willing to listen to feedback.
Many leaders don’t want to listen to ideas, opinions, and constructive feedback from others about their own leadership.
The brutal truth that good leaders are positive, even when things go bad. Good leaders practice positive thinking.
The brutal truth that good leaders put strict boundaries on themselves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Fundamental Skills for First-Time Managers”

If you’re like many leaders in the startup environment, you might be managing people for the first time-possibly without the training and development that leaders in mature companies receive on a regular basis.
Develop your leadership style with these five essential management skills we’ve distilled while consulting with some of the most successful leaders in the world.
Instead, managers need to create the opportunity for new thinking and behavior to take root.
The manager understood this when he encouraged the team to host weekly potlucks.
Everyone on the team knows that sharing ideas and information is critical to the company culture and its success-all because the manager made collaboration a priority, not an afterthought.
A recent Gallup poll showed that managers who received regular feedback were 10% more profitable than those who did not.
Managers are quick to give feedback when anyone on the team is missing the mark.
To get up-to-speed quickly, focus on honing these fundamentals for an instant boost to your impact and effectiveness as a leader: clarify expectations, lead culture, give recognition, ask for feedback, and manage your time.

The orginal article.