Modern leaders can learn great lessons from the Latin and Greek classics. But, how can their teachings influence our daily professional lives? Last week we held a very meaningful event at ESADE that provided answers to this question, and beyond. It was the presentation of The Odyssey of Management, a book written by our Honorary Professor, Lluís Pugès, who was for many years Dean and Director General of ESADE. Professor Pugès’ contribution to ESADE was invaluable, and marked a turning point in the history of the institution. His role in teaching students the importance of humanistic management was crucial, and so were his visionary thoughts on education, which led him to become one of the driving forces behind ESADE’s efforts to promote international education. He was also a visionary in that he was one of the founders of The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS).
The title of his new book, The Odyssey of Management, was inspired by Ulysses’ long trip home after the Trojan War. Ulysses, like many people today, had to face lots of difficult situations before succeeding in his mission. Through memorable quotes and experiences from the classics, Professor Pugès’ new book outlines the qualities a good leader must have and should never forget, especially when times get tough. Knowing yourself, listening to others, being perseverant, being aware of your own limits, finding internal peace, learning from failure, appreciating what you have and being faithful to yourself are some of the traits outlined in the book that ancient scholars considered to be key virtues for a more fulfilling life. Professor Pugès promoted these virtues within ESADE for many decades, and we will continue to do our best to promote them for many years to come. Values and ethics should always be an integral part of leadership. The classics are, and will surely continue to be, an unconditional fount of wisdom.