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  • Writer's pictureRuss Powell

My new favorite word – phronesis



I've been reading "How Big Things Get Done" by Prof. Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner. It's a brilliant book about project planning and execution. Two things I love about it:


(1) It encourages practices similar to what I teach in Middle Path leadership programs—think slow, act fast. The more time we spend in 'sensing' and 'seeking,' the better our solutions will be.


(2) It's given me a new favorite word – phronesis. As in...


"[This] practical wisdom is what Aristotle called 'phronesis.' He held it in higher regard than any other virtue, 'for the possession of the single virtue of phronesis will carry with it the possession of them all [i.e., all the relevant virtues],' as he emphasized. In short, if you have phronesis, you’ve got it all. Therefore, a project leader with abundant phronesis is the single greatest asset a project can have. If you have a project, hire a leader like that." –Bent Flyvbjerg, How Big Things Get Done




Thanks, Jeanne Farrington, for the pointer to this!

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