5 reasons why Stoicism can make you a better leader

Raphaël Reiter
3 min readJun 22, 2023
photo By prathanchorruangsak

Self-awareness and Self-control:

The first tenet of Stoicism is the understanding of oneself. It begins with mastering your thoughts and emotions, as they are the only things truly within your control. A strong leader should be well-aware of their emotional responses and not be ruled by them. This involves recognizing when you’re experiencing strong emotions such as anger, frustration, or anxiety, and not allowing these states to drive your decisions. Instead, approach each situation with a clear, focused mind, making decisions based on reason and rational thinking, not on the heat of the moment. This also extends to self-discipline and responsibility; stoicism encourages us to take ownership of our actions, learning from mistakes rather than blaming others.

Virtuous Living:

Virtue, according to Stoicism, is the highest form of goodness and the basis for moral life. There are four cardinal virtues in Stoicism: wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance. As a leader, you should strive to embody these virtues in your daily life. Wisdom means making well-informed, thoughtful decisions. Courage isn’t just about physical bravery, but also about standing up for your beliefs and principles, even in the face of adversity. Justice involves treating your team fairly and honestly, rewarding merit and addressing problems without favoritism. Temperance, or moderation, means finding a balanced, sustainable approach to work, neither demanding nor accepting excess.

Accept What You Cannot Control:

A key stoic principle is the understanding that we can control our actions and reactions, but not external events or the actions of others. As a leader, you will face unexpected challenges, from economic downturns to employee turnover. Rather than resisting these events, you should accept them as part of life and focus on responding in the best way possible. This also means recognizing and accepting the individual abilities and limitations of your team members, and not blaming them for things outside of their control. Instead of trying to control everything, a Stoic leader focuses on influencing, guiding, and providing the right tools and environment for the team to succeed.

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Raphaël Reiter

Continuously learning about life. Passionate about philosophy. Certified life coach and meditation teacher.