Aristotle: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”.
I studied Philosophy, in the fabulous capital of Wales, at Cardiff University and one of the myriad of modules that I indulged was Ancient Greek Philosophy (hence Gerard Butler’s rippling abs above).
Now, being in the world of technology recruitment, you can imagine that I struggle to bring up most of the content that I studied. Tenuous links about Software to Plato, or Project Management to Archimedes, get me some discerning looks about the office.
So, what does Ancient Greek Philosophy have to do with modern day Technology Recruitment?
Aristotle infamously birthed Virtue Ethics; to be good you have to be virtuous. Sounds simple right, but why are so little of us virtuous?
The focus of Virtue Ethics is ‘The Golden Mean’. Here’s an example, take the virtue Courage. In excess of this virtue you have rashness, in deficiency you have cowardice. In life, aim for ‘The Golden Mean’.
Why some of us fall short will either be for two reasons. We do not know what the virtues are, or we have not practiced them enough.
Going back to the quote at the top, we are not born excellent and are of course imperfect beings. We need practice at achieving excellence. Being excellent or virtuous once does not make us a virtuous or excellent person. Notice the most successful chap/chapette in your work place or social life, I bet they have routines and practices and/or have been doing the job for some time.
Always aim for virtue situation by situation, time after time.