When I was a young reader, I fell in love with Greek mythology. I thought it fascinating that each god or goddess on Mount Olympus had a unique talent. And so I devoured as many of these mythological tales as my book bag would allow me to carry home from the library.
Years later, I realize there are many personas from ancient Greek mythology that apply to the business world if one reads carefully enough!
I’ll start with the top gun, old Zeus himself. Some of you might question, “Why not take the Roman mythology path, Lori? After all, ancient Rome’s ascendancy followed the fall of ancient Greece, and all the usual (mythological) suspects are represented.” To which I’ll reply, “Screw ancient Rome – the names of the Greek gods and goddesses are way better!”
It’s Good to Be the King of the Gods on Mount Olympus: I’ll tell you the summary version of how Zeus became an almighty Greek deity. Let’s just say he’s descended from a Titan (Cronus) who swallowed all his offspring to avoid any dissent among the immortal ranks.
Zeus escaped his siblings’ collective fate because after his mother gave birth to him, she handed over a stone wrapped in swaddling to Daddy Dearest. Thinking the baby rock to be his newest child, Cronus promptly swallowed it. Zeus grew to manhood…
At the appropriate time, Zeus forced Dear Old Dad to regurgitate the stone as well as all his brothers and sisters. Naturally, they were eternally grateful that Zeus took his revenge on Cronus and set them free.
After helping Zeus successfully battle the other remaining Titans, Poseidon and Hades, his brothers, were happy to make Zeus ruler of the heavens/skies (and weather). Hence, through his fearless behavior, Zeus became the top deity on Mount Olympus!
Thunder and Lightning Beat Rock, Paper, and Scissors: When you’re the leader of immortals, only symbols befitting your elevated status will do. As a “thank you” for liberating the Cyclopes from a cave whilst battling Daddy Cronus, Zeus received both thunder and the thunderbolt (lightning) as gifts. Not too shabby!
Surely you know (or are) a business owner who rumbles like thunder and is capable of throwing a thunderbolt or two around the office. Don’t be afraid to adopt a symbol or logo that makes clear your company’s strengths. Just be careful where you pitch that thunderbolt…
Zeus Was a Change Agent, and You Can Be One Too…: So far, Zeus seems like a righteous, charismatic dude. Here’s his weak spot, though – although he married (his sister!) Hera and made her queen of Mount Olympus, Zeus had a roving eye.
In order to avoid Hera’s own version of retaliatory thunderbolts, Zeus had to conceal his identity when tempting Grecian mortals and nymphs to be his baby mamas. Zeus was the original “change agent,” but I can’t say that any of the maidens trusted him. Sorry, Chris Brogan – great book title, though.
Remember the fable of ‘Leda and the Swan’? Guess the swan’s real identity. Yep, it was Zeus. He also seduced Europa as a white bull (no hat, all cattle!), did it with Danae as a golden shower, and transformed the nymph Io into a heifer (to hide her from Hera) so he could satisfy his animal instincts.
I suggest you don’t hesitate being an agent of change if it will help grow your business – just don’t commit a sex crime while pursuing what you want!
Many Greek gods and goddesses correlate well to other leadership styles, so another contribution (oh, probably Athena or Aphrodite) will be forthcoming. Did this one amuse you? Did it spark an idea or two about your own leadership style? Whether you bestow upon me a myrtle wreath of victory or a deadly thunderbolt, don’t hesitate to leave your comment. I’ll consider it a gift from the gods…
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!