Posted on Monday, August 26, 2013
Our esteemed director, Beryl Byles has chosen to take a leave of absence from her duties as a director of the bank, so that she may travel all around the globe for a period of time uncertain! I am sad to see her leave us, even for a short while, and frankly feel just a tiny bit of envy! Our board has formally approved this change in status.
And so, I think it might be wise for us to consider some of her thoughts and philosophy on the eve of her departure. In her annual Thanksgiving message back in 2009, Beryl wrote of the ancient Greeks, and noted that the Greeks essentially invented freedom and individuality, as we know it today. She wrote, “freedom offered the privilege to develop one’s individuality. The word for this opportunity, arête, translates to becoming one’s best in service of others.” She further noted that in Greek society, “the demonstration of hubris (the focus on self-gratification alone) was not tolerated because it detracted from the greater good.”
In our society, hubris has come to mean arrogance or an exaggerated feeling of self-importance. Her words remind me that as a leader, it is my job to serve all of the rest of our team as best I can, as well as my communities and family. I hope that all of us at the bank, and especially those of us who carry the responsibilities as leaders, can successfully model and live by these powerful ideals.
Beryl, we will look forward to your return!