Effective Executive Magazine
Lessons in Intelligent Leadership from Cyrus the Great: First Insights from the New Discipline Called “Archaeology of Leadership Thought and Knowledge” (ALTK)

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2018
Product Name : Effective Executive
Product Type : Coaching and Mentoring
Product Code : EECM31812
Author Name : Kai-Alexander Schlevogt
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 41



This programmatic study makes three key contributions in terms of (1) discipline creation, (2) innovative cross-disciplinary method application and (3) novel and actionable leadership content. First, the pioneering discipline of “Archaeology of Leadership Thought and Knowledge” (ALTK) is invented, consisting of the two subdisciplines of “Archaeology of Leadership Thought (ALT)” and “Archaeology of Leadership Knowledge” (ALK). These new branches of knowledge aim at uncovering long-hidden treasures that can help postmodern leaders to solve truly challenging problems. Second, the author proposes a distinctive methodological approach for these new disciplines, including the application of Qualitative Content Analysis to the field of classical philology. Third, a multifaceted holistic leadership model is created from Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, which fictionally portrays the life of Cyrus the Great. The model includes new transformational concepts for movers and shakers, such as “proleptic leadership”, “cordial leadership”, “nano-leadership” and “radiant self-discipline”, thus demonstrating the game-changing potential inherent in the “Archaeology of Leadership”.


The postmodern world in many quarters is pervaded by a widespread feeling of overwhelming diversity, complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and insecurity, as well as a lack of sense and orientation, especially with respect to moral issues. At the same time, baseless relativism, disordered pluralism and reckless individualism abound. One key reason for this dire and explosive situation is the current lack of responsible and effective leadership. With astonishing and saddening regularity, stories are emerging about yet another political or corporate scandal, caused by narcissistic executives at all levels of their respective institutions, including the highest echelons of power. In many countries, politicians at best rank slightly higher than criminals in terms of popularity.


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