In the film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gus Portokalos, the father of Toula, is always explaining that every known word has it’s origins from the Greek language. Now being a Greek Cypriot myself I am patriotic about the Greek language. If you have not seen the film, here is a section from Gus explaining the meaning of the Japanese garment the Kimono.
“Kimono, kimono, kimono. Ha! Of course! Kimono is come from the Greek word himona, is mean winter. So, what do you wear in the wintertime to stay warm? A robe. You see: robe, kimono. There you go!”
We can learn a lot looking at the original meaning of a word; often the word used in leadership discussions is ‘inspirational’. You will hear someone say, ‘she is really an inspirational leader’ or ‘he is always inspirational’. Have you ever, like me, stopped to think what does that really mean?
Well here it is……..It originates from the Greek!
The word means πνευστος or pneustos. Which can be interpreted as ‘to breathe life into’. So whenever you breathe life into a dead situation at work you are being inspirational! Consider when you have found a solution to a colleagues problem, met a tight deadline for an important project or even changed the atmosphere in a team room by being more positive. You guessed it, this is inspirational and you are being an inspirational leader!
So in the words of Gus Portokalos, ‘Everything originates from the Greeks. There you go’!
Having recently watch the film Lincoln I was again reminded about the inspiring story of this man who stood at a point in history to challenge a national perspective to change.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America. Driven by a consistent devotion to the law and to anti-slavery principles, he guided the United States through the Civil War and on Jan. 1, 1863, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in the Confederate States. The Emancipation Proclamation led to the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the nation.
President Lincoln came from humble beginnings. Born Feb. 12, 1809, in Kentucky, Lincoln had no formal schooling, but he loved to read. Lincoln’s enduring passion was for government and law. He studied law informally and passed the bar examination in 1836.
Lincoln first ran for public office in the Illinois State Legislature in 1832, but was defeated. He persevered and ran again in 1834, this time serving four consecutive terms in the State Legislature before returning to full-time law practice. In 1846, he re-entered politics and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives but lost his re-election bid. Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate in 1854 but lost that race and a subsequent race in 1855 for a different Senate seat. However, he gained national recognition, and in 1860, he was nominated for President of the United States.
Even this success was not to be attained easily. Before President Lincoln could take the oath of office on March 4, 1861, seven Southern states seceded from the United States. Following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, Lincoln raised an army and fought to save the United States as a union.
In 1864, amid the grim Civil War, President Lincoln was re-elected, and he oversaw the surrender of the Confederate States on April 9, 1865. He proposed a speedy reunion between the Northern and Southern States, but before he could see this outcome, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14 at Ford’s Theatre. President Lincoln died the morning of April 15, 1865.
Today, nearly 150 years after his death, Lincoln is remembered as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. He is recognized not for his failures—of which there were many—but for his remarkable successes, which he achieved due to one overriding characteristic: Persistence