The word arete means “excellence of any kind” or “moral virtue.”1 In early Greek, this meaning was related to the idea of the fulfillment of purpose or function, the act of living up to one’s full potential.

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“Great leadership is about solving problems. Run toward the problems, and work to solve them. Don’t fixate on getting promoted. Focus your attention on doing great at your current job. And then doors will open.” That’s how Carly Fiorina described leadership to me. “You need an equal measure of optimism with realism. You must see the current state as it is. It’s important to believe things will get better (optimism), but also be clear-eyed and realistic. Be honest. See truth, and act on it.”2 For Fiorina, ...

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