How to Lead a Team to Success
FORTITUDE, PRUDENCE, TEMPERANCE, and JUSTICE are four words that reveal how to lead a team to success. Eagle Center for Leadership did not craft this list of words—ancient writers and philosophers did.
- SOLOMON- This King of Israel from 970 to 931 BC wrote: "She (wisdom) teaches temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life."
- PLATO- This Greek author of The Republic in 380 BC wrote: “Clearly, then, it (a good city) will be wise (prudent), brave (fortitudinous), temperate, and just.”
- ARISTOTLE- This philosopher of Rhetoric in 322 BC wrote: “The forms of virtue are justice, courage (fortitude), temperance, … prudence, …”
Often the four words are referred to as "cardinal virtues." In Latin, "cardo" means "hinge." Fortitude, prudence, temperance, and justice are the virtues that a successful life hinges upon, including how to lead a team to success. Anyone seeking direction on how to be a good leader can evaluate these virtues, intentionally model them before team members, and then set expectations for team members to incorporate them in the work environment.
FORTITUDE is courage. Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace. A good leader must not only be able to adapt to change, but must be able to initiate change with boldness. A lack of courage will cause a leader and an organization to maintain the status quo because it is familiar and comfortable. However, without courage to forge into the unknown, the leader and the organization will quickly fall behind.
PRUDENCE is wisdom. When leading a team, a prudent person will act rather than react. They will gather information, look at situations from all angles, consider the benefits and the consequences of actions, and then carefully make decisions. Without prudence, a leader can cause great harm to a team and an organization.
TEMPERANCE is being in control of your emotions and appetites. It is exhibiting willpower, restraint, and discretion. One slip in the area of temperance has the potential to bring even the most respected leader crashing to the ground. Trust and respect built over a long period of time can be lost in an instant and is often difficult to regain, if not impossible.
JUSTICE is being fair to those you lead and to those with whom you do business. Sometimes this requires a leader to set aside self-ambition in order to lead a team to success. A leader who does not demonstrate consistent justice will not earn the loyalty of their team and may be plagued with high employee turnover.
Life and business have "hinged" on these cardinal virtues for almost 3000 years. One must agree that they make a strong foundation on which to build, grow, change, and succeed.
Leading a team to success is never easy, but Eagle Center for Leadership can help you on that journey. Our online leadership training is a holistic leadership program for your employees that will build trust within your team, improve their communication, break down how to deal with conflict when it arises, and grow their ability to self-manage.