Can investors be leaders?
Aeneas holding his father Anchises, by Simon Vouet (1635). Source: Wikimedia
They should be. The same qualities found in the best leaders are crucial to the best investors: clear goals; a culture of integrity; understanding what they can and can’t do; and they have to be able to effectively communicate these values to those around them.
Leadership has always been this way. The great epic poem from Roman times, The Aeneid, portrays these classic leadership qualities in a dramatic style. The author Virgil calls themvision, culture, and values: fatum, pietas, and virtus. These character qualities a woven through his text. In the story, Virgil paints a picture of the ideal ruler: powerful, humble, just, honest, courageous, and decisive. Investors who learn these lessons will understand where they’re going and – just as important – they’ll know how to get there.
In his wanderings, Aeneas undergoes many hardships and temptations. In each instance, he needs to remind himself of his goal and the great empire he is destined to begin. But he can’t compromise: his famous dalliance with Dido along the way caused heartache for him and was disastrous for her. In the same way, investors need to establish goals, avoid distractions, and pursue their plans with diligence.
Aeneas and Dido, by Thomas Jones (1769). Source: Wikimedia
The Aeneid is a timeless story about leadership. It tells of the establishment of Rome – its confusing, challenging, tumultuous, and controversial beginning. As we pursue our own goals, we need to look past our present circumstances and focus on the future. Like Virgil’s hero, Aeneas.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”