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Lessons about change from Ovid

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Technology,Workplace Communication

Ovid, the Roman poet and philosopher who lived from 43 BC until 17 AD, wrote Metamorphoses, probably the first great treatise on mastering change.

It’s worth spending some time with this ancient collection of fables. They teach lessons that can still help us in times of transition.

Two examples:
  1. Phaeton, an impatient youth, begged the gods to let him drive a chariot up to the sun so that he could observe the whole earth beneath him.

    Even Phaeton’s father couldn’t discourage him from his plan, but he came up with a plan to protect his son. He would give Phaeton a golden chariot that had been made by the god Vulcan himself.

    But when Phaeton rode the magic chariot into the sky, he looked down and became so frightened that he let go of the golden reins, crashed and was killed. His chariot, which had caught fire, caused great destruction to the earth.

    Lesson: Even the greatest technology will not save you if your ambitions outweigh your experience.

  2. Perseus, a mighty winged warrior, had won fame by beheading the gorgon Medusa. Some time later, he was attacked by a mighty sea monster. Instead of battling the monster face to face, Perseus flew high into the sky so that his shadow fell in the water ahead of the monster, which attacked his shadow viciously.

    When the monster had exhausted itself, Perseus swept down from the sky with sword in hand and killed it.

    Lesson: To survive from battle to battle, you need to change your tactics.

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