Know Thyself – the story of Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever


Thanks to my friend and Creative Visionary, Maeve Gillies, for sharing this article with me from the NY Times: “Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness

My writing on this site is all focussed to some degree around Leadership. In leading and in working with leaders, I truly believe that among the keys to being an effective leader are attributes such as curiousity, humility, and being on a lifelong quest for self-knowledge.

In the modern world, so much of our time is dedicated to being busy, working hard, and yet no matter how hard we work, it often feels to so many that is is never enough. This from one of the Yale students taking the course :

“In reality, a lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy, numb,” said Alannah Maynez, 19, a freshman taking the course. “The fact that a class like this has such large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions — both positive and negative — so they can focus on their work, the next step, the next accomplishment.”

Powerful words, and such energy and drive was enough for this to be the most subscribed course in the 316 year history of that august institution.

Leaders who choose to work with me quickly get used to me challenging them to do less and be more. To take time out of their busy-ness to create space. Browse this site and you’ll see so many posts around these themes in different ways

.. and yet… for those leading businesses, it may seem counter-intuitive, but the most world class of leaders have the presence, the empathy, the understanding, that can come only from taking time to, as the ancients in Delphi put it “know thyself”.

Still, don’t take my word for it, trust in the wisdom of the great Calvin & Hobbes.



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