Today’s guest blogger, Don Leon, Managing Partner of Donald Leon Search, has been recruiting for over twenty years. Having worked in New York City for a small boutique search firm as well as a top ten global firm, Don has partnered closely with digital technology, data and content companies for most of his career. He is actively involved in representing and recruiting for a variety of technology-related verticals and founded his own executive search firm five years ago. Don joined NPAworldwide in 2018.
This past year has tested most of us, through business, our personal lives or both. Yet, the writings of ancient philosophers remain prescient. So, in our current times of strife, challenges and uncertainty it may be soothing to reflect on some of this timeless wisdom.
- “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” – Confucius, Chinese teacher and philosopher. Lived 551-479 BC. We all have setbacks throughout our life and our career; 2020 taught us more than ever that we need to “get back on the horse” (or whatever idiom you choose).
- “If you do not change direction you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and poet. Lived 6th-4th Century BC. In 2020, many professionals in events, hospitality and other diminished industries affected by the pandemic, were forced to do major career pivots. Changes in direction can happen to anyone of us, at any time, so follow this thinking regardless of your profession.
- “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle, Greek Philosopher. Lived 384-322 BC. Courage (in spades) has certainly been tested during this past year.
- “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” – Socrates, Greek Philosopher. Lived 470-399 BC. Not only couldn’t we predict what 2020 would look like a year ago, we need to understand that the world and its surroundings are bigger than all of us.
- It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it, that matters.” – Epictetus, Greek Philosopher. Lived 50-135 AD. One could easily have gone into a cocoon; yet to maintain personal and professional success, the important actions during the last year are to react and address our issues head-on.
- “There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher. Lived 535-475 BC. That’s for sure and that is the one thing we became certain of during 2020.
- “There are certain things you can control and certain things you can’t control, and you must know the difference.” – Epictetus, Greek Philosopher. Lived 50-135 AD. Live in the world you’re able to control, and you will do a lot better than trying to make changes in a world where you have NO control.
- “True happiness is… to enjoy the present without anxious dependence on the future.” – Seneca, Roman Philosopher. Lived 4 BC-65 AD. Live in the moment-YES, I will second that (and order me a cocktail)!
- “This too shall pass” – Sufi teachings, Arabic. 10th Century AD. We tend to think of this when bad things happen. It’s also important to apply this thinking when good things happen, as (unfortunately) the good things may not last forever either.
Let’s look ahead to a fruitful 2021 and when necessary let’s look back on some relevant philosophy that has been passed on for centuries.