The Four Cardinal Entrepreneurial Virtues™
© 2004-2014 Gregg Zegarelli
In c.400 B.C.E.,
Socrates developed the "Four Cardinal Virtues."
The English word "cardinal" comes from the Latin word cardo,
which means "to hinge." All human virtues hinge on these four core
virtues: Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance and Justice;
very simply re-stated as Wisdom, Strength, Self-Restraint and Balance. These
Cardinal Virtues were first discussed in
The Republic of Plato.
Like Jesus who followed, Socrates did not write anything.
Jesus had Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Socrates had
Plato, the student of Socrates, wrote in the form of dialogues (like
plays) using his teacher as the main speaker. So, all references
to Socratic teaching imply a reference to Plato, since most or all of
what we know of Socrates was through the writings of Plato.
Unlike the theological virtues (such as, Love and Hope), the Four
Cardinal Virtues are the essential necessary virtues of Socrates'
perfect human being. In the same manner of Eastern
Zen, the Western
Socratic Cardinal Virtues are not necessarily tied directly to belief in
a deity, but were the
foundation for finding harmony in self. Where religious harmony
rests upon a belief system, philosophical harmony rests upon a
self-evidenced cerebral reconciliation.
The Republic of Plato is a metaphor, in a manner, because the
philosophical question posed to Socrates is to find justice "in man,"
but Socrates analogizes to something bigger, and easier to see, by
finding justice "in the state." So, finding harmony within the
state is the analogy to the harmony within a human. And, as the
Republic of Plato traverses issues of political science, it is
analogically traversing issues of humanity science.
The following Four
Cardinal Entrepreneurial Virtues were developed by
Gregg Zegarelli and
are part of his "The Entrepreneurial Spirit™" educational
and newsletter series. These
Cardinal Entrepreneurial Virtues are required by every entrepreneur to
become a Champion Entrepreneur.
Every entrepreneur must have
the required body of knowledge regarding the commercial undertaking.
This is similar to, yet different from, Socrates' Prudence. The
entrepreneur's knowledge credentials must be acquired, by experience or education,
in order to implement
the strategy. The credentials underpin the entrepreneur's knowledge-base.
The knowledge-base can be held by the entrepreneur, but knowledge can also
be purchased from staff, advisors and consultants.
Without Knowledge, we cannot develop a game plan or implement
the game strategy.
must have vision. Vision is seeing
where we want to go. Vision is usually
the bigger picture, but it can be a goal at any incremental step.
Vision creates the direction, and keeps people focused.
Without Vision, we just go in circles. Vision sets the goal and is the
measure of our focus.
Courage is moving forward amidst risk.
Like sailing a ship from England to America, almost by definition, the
entrepreneurial venture implies a calculated risk. An act today for a
calculated return. Courage is bold, but, armed with Knowledge, remains
prudent. Even the best captains, with the best maps, cannot control
all the variables. There will be storms, and ships will sink, even
with the best captains. We know this, and we move forward anyway.
There is no timid captain or entrepreneur.
The future is an unsure
Without Courage, we do not move forward.
Fortitude, Tenacity is holding on,
and not giving up.
All of the Vision, Knowledge and Courage are of no use without Tenacity. To
a captain, it is the determination to continue amidst a storm, and not to turn
back. To hold, and not to give up. Any adversity is too much for
the weak, and every storm too scary.
Without Tenacity, we concede
in defeat. With Tenacity, we stay the course, damning the torpedoes,
full speed ahead.
As we navigate life, it is healthy to
reflect upon Socrates' Four Cardinal Virtues. And, as we navigate
through entrepreneurial waters, it is similarly healthy to reflect upon
The Four Cardinal Entrepreneurial
Virtues™ and to ask ourselves whether we have what it takes.
And, if we do not, whether we can acquire and integrate the support talent to supply
the necessary balance to reconcile the character traits. What
makes these virtues "cardinal" is that each of them, like
Ying and Yang, necessarily require each other in a major/minor
formative. Courage implies a Tenacity; Courage and Tenacity are
functions of Knowledge. Knowledge is impotent without Vision.
Vision is impotent without Courage. Each Cardinal Virtue "hinges"
on the other.
The Champion Entrepreneur must know where
he or she wants to go, must have the knowledge of how to get there, must
move forward amidst unknowns and risk, and must hold on when confronted
by the adversity that is almost assured to come. Understanding The
Four Cardinal Entrepreneurial Virtues helps us to assess our condition
to the achieve the success that we desire. Thank you.
Contact us for more information:
Z e g a r e l l i
Home Page (click here)
Zegarelli Law Group
Upper St. Clair Administrative and Postal Office:
2585 Washington Road, Suite 134
Summerfield Commons Office Park
301 Grant Street, Suite 4300 One Oxford Centre
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1407 USA
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