The one sentence summary
Classical wisdom can teach us a lot about modern life and work.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- This book contains daily wisdom from the Greeks and Romans to get you through your working day. There is a piece of advice for every day of the year from the best classical sources, brought up to date in a modern context, covering communicating, competitors, consumer insights, disputes, HR, innovation, leadership, personal development, presentations, project management, sales, strategy, time management, and more. Here is a selection:
- Don’t try and find difficulties that aren’t there. Plautus.
- We need not prolong this meeting any further. There’s proper work to be done. Homer.
- I’m afraid I’ve expressed it badly; let me try to make my calculations clearer. Pliny the Younger.
- It’s a clever man who can condense down many words into a brief space. And do it well. Euripides.
- Fake news and events are created by rumour-mongering. Theophrastus.
- The pleasure is in the work itself. Manlius.
- Stop doing those jobs that get you running round in circles. Seneca.
- A message sent, flies off. Irrevocably. Horace.
- We don’t see the baggage we’re carrying on our own backs. Catullus.
- Think before you speak. Chilon.
- Note to self: everything is an assumption. Marcus Aurelius.
- When in doubt, don’t do it. Pliny The Younger.
- Some people are as oblivious to what they’re doing when they’re awake as they are when they are fast asleep. Heraclitus.
- If you’re going to do it, then do it! Plautus.
- It’s better to finish one small assignment first than to do many imperfectly. Socrates.
- Be nice to foreigners. You may be one yourself one day. Menander.
- A lion in charge of an army of deer is more to be feared than a deer in charge of an army of lions. Chabrias.
- It’s no good expecting gratitude from anyone for anything. Catullus.
- Everything unknown is automatically assumed to be magnificent. Tacitus.
- One shouldn’t speak in a way that the audience can understand us, but in a way that is impossible for them to misunderstand us. Quintilian.
- While it’s ‘on hold’, life is speeding by. Seneca.
- An arrow doesn’t always hit its target. Horace.
- Once you’ve begun, you’ve half the job done. Horace.
- A lobster will give birth to an elephant before that happens. Naevius.
- Thinking through the most useful thing you can do is the safest form of delay. Pubilius Syrus.
- It’s hard to find good people. Juvenal.
- Many people can come up with a strategy, but it takes experience to deliver it. Pubilius Syrus.
- Enough of this combative and shrill discussion. Perhaps we might now enter into discussion and reach a compromise? Aristophanes.
- No intelligent person – and there’s been a great deal written about this – has ever said that changing your plan demonstrated inconsistency. Cicero.
- Oh the stresses of life. There is so much nonsense going on! Lucilius.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Advertising is a Latin word, advertere, meaning turn towards.
- Profit comes from the Latin profectus, which means progress or success.
- Strategy comes from the Greek meaning a leader or general.
- Margin is from margo, meaning an edge or border.
- Vision without action is hallucination.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Not much. There is stacks of wisdom here.