In this final part, I come full circle to detail the significance of The Argonauts as a leader-driven force for transformation in the world, starting with changing oneself. I describe the conversation-driven method of the organization and the tools it brings to strengthen its members and build lasting bonds among them. I discuss this leadership network as the realization of a transformation mindset that many great thinkers have described as essential to bringing humanity to a higher level of consciousness, just in time. I ask:
I relate how I began to reconstruct the broken fragments of my life with the help of friends and a circle of conversation which opened a new perspective on sharing secrets and discussing deep feelings from a place of openness and trust. I connect this to the ancient Greek view of the need to balance order and chaos, allowing disruption as part of life’s natural harmony. What is not acceptable, I find, is allowing ourselves to stumble from disaster to catastrophe, never coming to terms with the natural imbalance we have created. I ask:
In this second part, I reveal how my creative and business activities became overshadowed and undermined by a personal and financial crisis which triggered a profound disruption in my life and re-evaluation of its meaning. I confide the loss of my sense of authenticity and self-worth, the feeling that I had lost my soul and that my accomplishments were meaningless. And I relate my personal quandary to the crisis of meaning that society as a whole is now confronting in the wake of the pandemic and its aftermath. I ask:
In this first part, I relate my personal struggle for creative and professional meaning within societies dominated by a ruling ideology which ranks material and quantitative accomplishments of the individual and the corporation as the standards for evaluating and rewarding success. I challenge the status quo by posing questions concerning alternative ways for leaders to measure themselves according to the quality and harmony of their lives and relations. The questions I raise about these competing worldviews and their respective impacts on social and individual consciousness are:
During the second week of March, the management team of The Argonauts took the decision to make attendance at the office voluntary. Guidelines for remote working were implemented and we ran an intense two-day exercise for our Berlin staff. They readily jumped in and quickly got a feel for this new way of working. By Friday the 13th the gravity of the current crisis was really making itself known and so we decided to move the entire operation online.
Now everyone was safe, based at home and raring to go. Now — almost a month later — the challenges — which have been plentiful — have been taken on and solved with both tried-and-tested and unconventional solutions. It has been an incredibly steep learning curve for all of us, an experience that has seen — unsurprisingly — a lot of tears, but also — obviously — plenty of laughs and joy as we discovered who we are as a team. Everyone stood up to the plate and at least got a hit — if not a home run. …
Approximately five weeks ago, as the coronavirus started to spread throughout most of the world’s population, our team gathered in our ‘Gaia’ creation room to discuss what we could do to support our community.
We decided to send a survey to our members, asking: What do you need most in this time of crisis? The answer came back immediately, loud and clear.
An overwhelming majority responded by expressing a deep desire to connect with peers in a trusted environment to share their current situation, thoughts and feelings.
We have answered this call — shifting our focus and resources over the past few weeks to open up the Trust Circle experience to all of our members. …
In this essay, the Argonauts’ Thinktank — led by Christoph Quarch, initiator of the Third Platonic Academy — discusses the true meaning of the term “organization” and the art of managing a company as a dynamic organism.
There are words that hide more than they reveal. Organization is such a term. One hears it and immediately believes what it means. Usually one is not really wrong, but more could be said about this term.
One may leave it at a superficial understanding and think that an organization is a structure or an institution in which many people, departments, areas etc. interact with each other in some purposeful way. …
In this essay by the Argonauts’ Thinktank — led by Christoph Quarch, initiator of the Third Platonic Academy —we examine the role of Plato and unconditional love for life in regards to entrepreneurship and the future of mankind.
What is it about us as entrepreneurs? What happens if we move around the world as entrepreneurs? What power drives us forward? What is the Golden Fleece that stimulates The Argonauts’ quest? Here’s a story to be told:
An entrepreneur once had a dream. He dreamt he was on the way to his office. Just like every day, he parked his car in the garage, got in the elevator and rode to the twelfth floor. …
This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Berlin and meeting the Argonauts team hard at work. There was a hum of activity in the office, whiteboards filled with diagrams and screens filled with digital works in progress as the company prepared to disclose details to a somewhat broader circle of leaders. We caught up with Stefan Beiten — entrepreneur, investor, award-winning producer and filmmaker — to discuss why he founded The Argonauts and to clarify his mission of creating a global community that nourishes transformative leaders.
Stefan, what inspired you to create The Argonauts in the first place?
I have been an entrepreneur all my life, building companies and, with them, personal, social and business relationships. I have met so many amazing people throughout my life, people with whom I wanted to stay in touch regularly. As a long-time member of YPO I have benefited greatly from this amazing global community. …
The Argonauts’ Thinktank — led by Christoph Quarch, initiator of the Third Platonic Academy — publishes here its first essay on how courageous leaders can gain a new, more ethical perspective on managing their organizations by thinking of themselves less as masters of a machine and more as tenders of a growing garden.
Some laud ethical leadership as an advanced art-form. Others denigrate the pursuit of ethics in leadership as impractical and meaningless in reality. In truth, this whole dispute is infertile. Both perspectives are based on an outmoded, intellectually dubious paradigm. They interpret leadership as a technical process, not as something holistic and sustainable. This technocratic mindset dates from the 18th century and is no longer well-suited to current knowledge or today’s leadership challenges. Holistic and sustainable leadership should take into account the realities of human life and develop from them an ethos of entrepreneurial action which stands the test of time and cultivates a new way of thinking that more effectively facilitates long-term growth. …