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Word Count: 496
Aristotle on Excellence in Leadership iBut when a whole family or some individual happens to be so preeminent in excellence as to surpass all others then it is just that they should be the royal family and supreme over all or that this one citizen should be kingi1288a15-20 The key to Aristotles quote is hidden in his definition of excellence In Aristotles context excellence refers to the excellence of a citizen relative to the constitution of which he is a member III 4 30-32 A state is defined by its constitution The salvation of the states constitution is the common interest of every citizen of that state A citizens excellence therefore is measured by his ability to work towards the salvation of the constitution With an understanding of Aristotles definition of excellence the meaning of his quote becomes quite simple When a family or a person demonstrates superior excellence relative to his constitution that family or person should rule the state A citizen who is so preeminent in excellence is not the equal of the rest of the citizens of the state or at least his excellence does not equal that of the rest of the citizens This citizen does not fit the mold of the common man He is an outlier Therefore something must be done with him The community could ostracize the supremely excellent citizen for having a quality different from the qualities of the majority However this course of action would only waste the gift of a small part of the whole and promote mediocrity The other option Aristotles suggestion is to utilize the gift of the preeminently excellent citizen to protect the states constitution by making him the ruler of the state Aristotle further justifies his position by stating that a citizen should not be made the ruler of a state because of his wealth or his ancestry Unless by some chance wealth or ancestry affects the ability
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