Knowledge Center: Publication
Chief Executive Officer & Board of Directors
Shakespeare’s mind for the future: A modern-day tale4/18/2016
What can a contemporary business executive learn from a 16th-century English playwright? More than you might think.
Indeed, the business and social environment of William Shakespeare’s time—characterized by political and economic turmoil, social inequality, terrorism, and the rise of new business paradigms—would be all too familiar to many of today’s business leaders.
In this collection of articles marking the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, we examine the leadership lessons that today’s executives can draw from Shakespeare’s works and career. Leadership styles may vary according to the times and the circumstances. But in the Information Age, with mistakes transparent to all, and rising levels of public distrust, there's much to learn from William Shakespeare's sharp analyses of human character.
This collection includes:
- The Shakespeare we don’t know: Business innovator and disruptor. Columbia University’s James Shapiro argues that the popular stereotype of Shakespeare scribbling away alone in his garret is wrong. The Bard was an innovative teammate and committed collaborator, as well as a business-model pioneer—attributes as relevant today as they were then.
- 1616/2016: Then is now. A closer look at three of Shakespeare’s most important historical plays reveals three leadership archetypes that together underscore the deep connection between leadership style and success.
- Leadership lessons from the performing arts. An interview with the founder of Bell Shakespeare, the Australian performing-arts company, offers lessons for business leaders of all stripes on building teams, managing innovation, and creating a culture of continuous learning.
For the full collection, click the download link above.
For our other commemorative publication, Where Caesar went wrong: Anatomy of a boardroom coup, click here.