Excellence is an art won by training and habituation...

Aristotle
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation...
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Aristotle: "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

Recently, our CEO, Susanna Kempe, sat down with the 34th Chancellor of the University of Toronto, Rose M. Patten, as part of the Leadership Lab series. In her book 'Intentional Leadership: The Big 8 Capabilities Setting Leaders Apart', Chancellor Patten shares a quote from Aristotle that has long served as a beacon of inspiration for her. As we gear up to unveil the engaging Leadership Lab episode later this week, it presents us with a timely opportunity to delve into Aristotle's wisdom and its resonating power on our perspectives of leadership.


Aristotle: A Pillar of Thought

Aristotle, born in 384 BCE in Stagira, Greece, significantly shaped the fields of philosophy and science before his passing in 322 BCE. As a disciple of Plato and mentor to Alexander the Great, he journeyed from Athens to Assos, Lesbos, and finally to Macedonia. There, his teachings prepared Alexander for greatness. Aristotle's broad intellectual journey showcased his profound impact on numerous disciplines, from ethics and politics to metaphysics, logic, and the natural sciences.

Philosophical and Scientific Contributions
Aristotle's work in political philosophy introduced the idea of the city as a crucial community unit, highlighting the collective's precedence over individual interests and exploring the governance of states in his seminal work "Politics." His economic theories provided early insights into money, property rights, and economic systems, advocating for private property as a means to motivate individual effort and critiquing the pursuit of wealth for its own sake. In literature, his "Poetics" laid foundational concepts for literary theory, analyzing various art forms through imitation. Additionally, his "Rhetoric" treatise has profoundly influenced the art of persuasion and rhetorical theory, emphasizing the power of ethos, pathos, and logos.

A Lasting Influence
Aristotle's comprehensive body of work, characterized by its depth and diversity, has inspired generations of thinkers, scholars, and leaders, continuing to resonate in contemporary discussions across disciplines. His profound quote encapsulates his belief in the power of consistent action and moral habituation to achieve greatness. This philosophy highlights the essence of leadership and personal development, emphasizing that excellence emerges not from isolated acts but from the cultivation of virtuous habits over time.

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