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Leadership Education

Throughout history the liberal arts have been the education for free people and their leaders.  A bit of history here is enlightening. 

The History of Freedom

Liber, the root word for liberal is Latin for "tree bark."  This dates back to the days of the Roman citizen, a historically unique class of people who had rights that were widely recognized.  As opposed to slaves who couldn't do anything unless commanded, this class of freemen could buy, sell, trade and engage in contract.  Because they wrote their contracts on tree bark, the word became associated with this free class, particularly the mindset, understanding and abilities that set them apart from the slave class.  This word has come down through time as the root for liberty, liberate, library, libro (book) and others.

A liberal arts education therefore, is, as Robert Hutchins put it, "the education of free men in the knowledge and skills that are needed to remain free."  It educates individuals "how to think" and teaches them why it is important.  It provides the foundation for great thinkers, leaders, artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, citizens and statesmen.

Education for Freedom and Leadership

Leadership education has three primary goals.  First, its purpose is to instill into individuals the character, competence and capacity to do the right thing and do it well in whatever roles they play in society, thus serving to preserve and increase personal and collective freedom, abundance and opportunity.

The second goal is, as stated earlier, to perpetuate freedom -- to prepare people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it, and who exert the will to sacrifice and do what is required.  We call them statesmen

Statesmen are people who understand that prosperous, moral, free states or societies don't just happen.  All societies are comprised of different entities or spheres of activity; business, government, church, school, family, media, entertainment, research and so on.  In a free society, each sphere has a proper role to play.  There are certain things that should be left to the family and other things to government, and still others to churches, and so on. 

Because human nature invariably results in attempts by individuals or groups to usurp authority and centralize power, free people acting in each sphere must act as checks and balances toward the other spheres.  Otherwise freedom, opportunity and innovation diminish and oppression increases. 

Statesmen

Statesmen understand this delicate balance and seek to establish and maintain it.  Whether they are acting in the role of parent, businessman, clergyman or politician, they not only lead in those spheres, but they ensure that their actions do not infringe on the roles of other areas of society.  They understand that the immediate advantage to them personally or to their business, church, etc. is not worth the long term loss to freedom and the blood that invariably is spilled to regain it.

These two goals are accomplished by the third: teaching students how to think.

How to Think

Those who know how to think are able to lead effectively and are able to help society remain free and prosperous. Those who know only what to think or when, no matter how valuable their contributions to society, are not capable of maintaining freedom or leading us to real progress without additional leadership skills.

Leadership education prepares leaders who motivate individuals, communities and nations to greater good in an environment of liberty that allows all that is best to flourish. Though the problems civilization presents may be new, the process of solving problems is not.

Leaders taught in this manner act according to ageless principles of success. They are taught that the accomplishment of their mission in their homes, communities and societies will create impactful and uplifting change. Their vision, capacity, tenacity and involvement inspire and motivate others to worthwhile purposes that elevate society.

This is what we seek to achieve at George Wythe University. By carefully studying the patterns used to train leaders throughout history, we have distilled these concepts into a very specific methodology.

Next: The Five Pillar Methodology

 

Our nation, indeed

our world, needs

the education George

Wythe University is

promoting.”

 -Justice William C. Goodloe, Washington Supreme Court (Ret.)

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