The story of King Arthur has been around for hundreds of years and, as with the story of Robin Hood, it has seen a variety of incarnations, reaching our awareness through various forms of print, TV shows, and movies, and even musical. Some of these portrayals have been more serious than others (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, for example), but they’ve all endeavoured to tell the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and to pass along the lessons and morals their stories have to tell. One of the more recent versions of the King Arthur story is the movie, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”. It may have been somewhat of a box office flop, it was still a very good movie and it has many lessons to teach the viewer. Among the lessons, the story of King Arthur can teach us is about leadership. Of course, the story has some political statements to make (King Uther Pendragon is overthrown by Arthur’s evil uncle, and Arthur has to win the crown back and save the people), but there are other leadership lessons to learn, as well.
1. Organisational Intelligence (Collaboration)
The Round Table is one of the most memorable elements of the Arthurian legend. It’s important to note what makes the Round Table such a unique idea: it shifts power from the king, who would normally sit at the head of a long table and make proclamations while others listened, and instead reduced the hierarchy to make collaboration easier. When Arthur did that, he discovered the power of organisation intelligence, which eventually helped him to unify England. Organisational intelligence is basically how well a group of people can put their heads together and decide something.
This is a key component of organisational intelligence. People need to be able to communicate needs, concerns, give feedback, etc. so things can be done accurately. This means you need to be clear about what you are wanting, but you also need to be clear about what the other person is saying. Be sure to state what you like about someone’s idea. Also, offer any concerns or suggestions you have about their idea.
We all know how King Arthur’s knights had to swear oaths of chivalry for how they were to conduct themselves, such as protecting the weak, obeying those in authority, always speak the truth, never turn your back on a foe, etc. In today’s business world, we have (or should have) codes of ethics and mission statements to follow as to how we are to conduct ourselves.
This should be one of the first things as a leader. Believe in yourself, first and foremost. If you don’t, it’ll be hard for anyone else to believe in you. Also, believe in your team and what you are doing. Believe in your mission, your product, your project. If you lose confidence, find it again. Use mentors, friends, and confidants, because no one can succeed on their own.
Be committed to what you are doing 100%. Go beyond any budgets or targets you may have. No one succeeds with only half-hearted attempts. Be tough and take any hits that may come. Be chivalrous and stand up for what you believe is right.
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