Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Dr. Mallory Monaco Caterine - From Working On Plutarch to Working With Plutarch

August 20, 2022 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 137
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Dr. Mallory Monaco Caterine - From Working On Plutarch to Working With Plutarch
Show Notes Transcript

A Senior Professor of Practice in Classical Studies at Tulane University, Dr. Mallory Monaco Caterine loves to help learners find connections between the past, the present, the self, and the human community. She believes that a humanities education is a highly effective mode of leadership training and infuses opportunities to practice leadership into all of her classes, including Greek and Latin language, Greek culture, Ancient Medicine, and the Classical Leadership Lab. She earned her Ph.D. in Classics at Princeton University, where she explored Plutarch’s Lives of Hellenistic statesmen and the lessons they held for his contemporaries in 2nd century CE Roman Greece. Her recent research focuses on the representations of tyrants and women's leadership in Greek and Roman literature.

In addition to her work at Tulane, Mallory is also the co-founder and co-executive director of Kallion Leadership, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to comprehensive and inclusive leadership development through the study of the humanities both inside and outside higher education. Her work with Kallion has been supported by her position as the Greenberg Family Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and Cole Fellow at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. 

A Yankee by birth, she spends each day falling more in love with her adopted home of New Orleans, where she lives with her husband, son, and cat, Lil Easy.

Two Quotes From This Episode

  • "It was shocking to read the news and see so many of the things I've been studying in these texts coming to life in front of my very eyes. And I think this is when I really moved from working on Plutarch to working with Plutarch."
  • "I've always tried to figure out this question of how do we learn from other people's experiences? Or thinking about it as 'how do you learn the easy way instead of the hard way.'"

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

About The International Leadership Association (ILA)

  • The ILA was created in 1999 to bring together professionals interested in the study, practice, and teaching of leadership. Plan for ILA's 24th Global Conference online on October 6 & 7, 2022, and/or onsite in Washington, D.C., October 13-16, 2022. Register for the 24th Global Conference here!

My Approach to Hosting

  • The views of my guests do not constitute "truth." Nor do they reflect my personal views in some instances. However, they are important views to be aware of. Nothing can replace your own research and exploration.

Connect with Scott Allen

Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate and conversations-to-text do not always translate perfectly. I include it to provide you with the spirit of the conversation.

Scott Allen  0:00 
Okay, everybody, welcome to Phronesis. Thanks for checking in wherever you are in the world. Today we have a really interesting, fun conversation. Something I absolutely love about the topic of leadership is the many different vantage points from which we can view the topic. And that's one thing that we're going to explore today. So I have Mallory Monaco Caterine, she is a senior professor of practice and Classical Studies at Tulane University. She loves to help learners find connections between the past, the present, the self, and the human community. How cool is that? She believes that a humanities education is a highly effective mode of leadership training and infuses opportunities to practice leadership into all of her classes, including Greek and Latin language, Greek culture, ancient medicine, and the classical leadership lab. She earned her Ph.D. in classics at Princeton University, where she explored Plutarch's lives of Hellenistic statesmen and the lessons they held for his contemporaries in second century C.E., Roman Greece. Her recent research focuses on the representations of tyrants and women's leadership in Greek and Roman literature. In addition to her work at to Elaine Mallory is also the co-founder and co-executive director of Kallion Leadership, Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to comprehensive and inclusive leadership development through the study of the humanities, both inside and outside higher education. Her work with Kallion has been supported by her position as the Greenberg family professor of social entrepreneurship. And CO Fellow at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. A Yankee by birth, she spends each day falling more in love with her adopted home of New Orleans, where she lives with her husband, son, and cat. Little easy. I have not read that part of you. So we have the Big Easy, and then we have the little easy, exactly. Well, you know what? Mallory, my good friend in the world, went to LSU for graduate school. And one summer, gosh, this may have been in probably, oh, maybe 2001-2002. He said, "Come down for Jazz Fest." And so I did. And we just had this magical three or four days, going to a music venue or free music venue, of course going to Jazz Fest and but visiting the different tents and just it was such a celebration. So I imagine you've been to a Jazz Fest or two.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  2:37  
Oh, yes, yeah, yeah, we finally got to return after COVID hiatus this year. And I think the thing that a lot of people don't understand about Jazz Fest, when they just hear about it is they think it's just gonna be jazz. And to me, it covers basically every kind of American music genre there is. Plus, there's more food than you could ever possibly eat. And it's just I'm very much into the food culture of New Orleans and have eaten. My husband and I tried to make a list a couple of years ago; I think probably at this point, we're up to around 200 different restaurants in the city that we've tried out. There are so many more on my list that I want to hit. So for me, Jazz Fest is a food-forward, festival.

Scott Allen  3:27  
If I remember correctly, there was a gospel Sunday brunch or something. Yeah. I love how you phrase that kind of celebration of American music because yes, I mean, we would go from R&B to Dave Matthews Band to

Mallory Monaco Caterine  3:44  
Yeah, I saw Pearl Jam play, and you see the Mardi Gras, Indian funk music, and we one of the best sets I ever heard there was Tom Jones three years ago. Wow. Doing like gospel and blues set. And yeah, it's just it's an amazing place.

Scott Allen  4:06  
I am excited to get back. I'm excited to get back with my friend Danny. He's in Australia right now. But I'm sure at some point, we will make our way back to Jazz Fest. And when I'm excited to chat with you about I mean, I again, I said it in the very, very beginning. I think there's what I love about the topic of leadership is we can look at it through so many different lenses. And listeners have heard me say this a number of times, but whether it's sociology or psychology, or anthropology, we can look at it through the lens of biology. We can look at it through the lens of so many different disciplines. And I have not had a guest that has come at it from this perspective. I mean, we're talking Greek, Greek and Latin language, Greek culture, ancient medicine, and Plutarch. I think what I would love to start with is to talk about how you're Studies, your area of passion and expertise, and scholarship, kind of have led you to this topic of leadership. I mean, I'm really interested in hearing that. Yeah.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  5:11  
Yeah, I'd be happy to. So, you know, I start actually from, as I've been trying to understand how I got to where I am, which I think is the question we all ask ourselves, I did. I think that something that was very formative for me is that I'm the youngest of three children and by far the youngest. And so I think that I've always been looking up to role models to know what I should or shouldn't do. And I've always been kind of trying to figure out this question of how do we learn from other people's experiences? Or thinking about it as how do you learn the easy way instead of the hard way? Right? This question of how we learn from other people's experiences drove me early on to learn languages. So I started very early learning German, and then moved into Latin and Greek, ended up going to graduate school at Princeton in classics, where I took a course in my first semester on Greek and Roman biography. And I immediately fell in love with the study of how we write about other people's lives. And how do we read what do we gain from reading about other people's lives? And so, throughout graduate school, I was really interested in life writing and historical writing. And what do we get from that? Because for the Greeks and Romans, their education system is very much based on an idea of exemplary history and of having these models that you talk about from the past, that tell you what you should do and help you apply those lessons to wherever you are in the present. So they're really focused on this and spend a lot of time thinking about it. And for me as I was studying this, I started thinking about a few different questions. Number one is I'm reading biographies and think about "why did these people do what they did?" Right? A very basic question when we're reading lives? Also, "how did they become who they were remembered as?" So what's the character formation process? And how do authors tell that story? So that we may try to imitate it or avoid it? Whatever it's going to be. And "how does it serve the people who wrote about their lives and read their lives after they've died?" So what do authors and readers get from reading about other people's experiences or writing about that? And something that I found in graduate school was that I was always really attracted to the not-great-men's history. And in classics in Greek and Roman studies, you are often presented with big figures like Alexander the Great, Pericles, or Julius Caesar. And a lot of people spend time on those figures. But I found the stories of not-great men really interesting. So I think of that in three ways. Either these are men who weren't great as in their bad examples of leadership. Yeah, they are immoral, or they're not men. But they're great. So I was really interested in stories of women's leadership. Yes. Or they are people who come from times that weren't great where their communities were in politically weak or unstable situations. So not in the height of a particular Empire, but maybe the decline. And so I started looking at those stories. And what I found was that the works of Plutarch had all of this. So Plutarch is a first insect second-century CE Greek biographer, he's a philosopher (that's how he would have thought of himself first and foremost), he was a statesman. He was an educator. He was a priest of the god Apollo at the temple of Delphi. So he wore a lot of hats. Talk about multitasking. His works were hugely popular. Basically, from the time he died onward until maybe the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th century. They were the most popular works in English after the Bible. And they were very formative for figures of the American Revolution, like Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, and this is part of what they were reading was translations of Plutarch into English, sometimes even in the original Greek, and even Frankenstein's monster, Mary Shelley has him read Plutarco lives in order to gain a sense of morality. So he is a really important figure until about the last century.

He writes two different series of biographies. But the ones that I focus on are called The Parallel Lives. And we've got 23 pairs of a Greek statesman and a Roman statesman that he writes together as a contained unit, okay? And he writes full biographies of each of them and does comparisons, sort of throughout and then the end, in many of them. And during Plutarch lifetime, Greece was really just a mirror province of the Roman Empire; okay, the people within it had very limited political power. But Greek culture was highly valued by the Roman ruling class. So there's this interesting tension between having limited political influence and a certain amount of cultural cachet. Okay, when we're looking at Plutarch's lives, many of the biographies look back to figures from the height of Greek civilization from the fifth century and fourth century BCE, and all of the Roman figures in the parallel lives are from the Roman republican period, before the Empire, many scholars had thought of Plutarch works as being this nostalgic look back at the last time of greatness that wasn't really able to be imitated by people who lived in the Roman Empire, in a period of overwhelming peace in the Mediterranean. It's hard to imitate a military leader when there aren't wars that are happening. But what I found really fascinating is that Plutarch doesn't only look at historical heroes from these great periods. But he also writes a lot of biographies of Greek statesmen from what's known as the Hellenistic period. As you mentioned, this is the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE and the fall of the last Greek dynasty and 31 BCE, when the Romans finally conquer all of the Greek-speaking worlds. It's a really complicated and fascinating period. If you like Game of Thrones, you will love the Hellenistic period, you will love it. This is what I always tell my students to like, and I grew, I grew up watching soap operas. And I think that's something that's made me very good at understanding Hellenistic history because there are a lot of these kinds of personal stories in lines and tensions that motivate all of these big-picture political movements. So it's really complicated. But to simplify it very, very much, what's going on, is that we've got two big dynamics in play. You have the generals of Alexander the Great and their descendants who are fighting for who will be the heir to all of Alexander's huge land empires. And at the same time, you have the old Greek city-states who are trying to reassert their power and fight back against these emerging dynasties. And at the end, both these dynasties and the city-states get overpowered by the Romans. Okay, so neither group wins after these three centuries of kind of wrangling with each other across the eastern Mediterranean. So it's an interesting period to pick heroes from loot harks biographies of people from the Hellenistic period. To me, it indicates that he's trying to tell a particular story to his own audience in this Roman period about how the Greeks became Roman subjects. And to give case studies of how he and his Greek contemporaries should or should not act in an environment of restricted political freedom, where they're being dominated by non-Greeks, who nevertheless appreciate Greek Greek culture like there's actually a period he can look back to, that fits a number of the dynamics that he's experiencing now. Yep. That's how I got the work that I did on my dissertation and some of the publications out of that. So that's really, I think of that kind of as the first phase of my research, but it really ties together these questions of why and how we learn from other people's lives.

Scott Allen  14:21  
Yes, yes. Okay. There's that natural passion for this era for this topic for really doing that exploration in that work. And then how do you stumble upon kind of leadership as a topic that has its own body of literature, its own body of knowledge that then you begin to explore that because I love it.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  14:45  
Lou Tark is someone who is a leader in his own right in his local community. He is writing about leaders. And he is very clearly and explicitly writing for leaders or future leaders. So he's writing For other members of the Greek and Roman elite, who will hold the sort of the highest level civilian posts that they can hold, and ideally for their son. So in that sense, everything he's doing is about leadership. I started to think more and more about this; when I was working on my dissertation was coming across a number of tyrannical figures and tyrannical leadership types, as well as women and other marginalized figures who ended up in leadership positions at least temporarily. So probably Plutarch's example that folks are most likely to be familiar with is Mark Antony versus Anthony and Cleopatra. So Plutarch's Life of Mark Antony was a very important source for Shakespeare's play. He writes extensively, both about Anthony's leadership but also about Cleopatra. And Antony is a very big, overblown figure with great vices and great virtues. That's what blue trucks that's my favorite life is actually the guy Anthony's paired with who is called Demetrius, the city of the procedure. He is one of these Greek Hellenistic kings who is a very over-the-top tyrannical figure. Some of his outlandish behavior includes things like taking up residence in the Athenian Parthenon and setting up an apartment there, he changed the calendar and Athens so that he could go through different kinds of religious rituals on his schedule and not on the sacred schedule.

He and his father get worshipped as gods, which is not something that happens really much before this time in Greece; there are all sorts of different things that he does. To me, he's just a very fascinating and kind of entertaining figure. But this thinking about tyrannical leaders and women's leaders brought me to another Plutarch text, which is called Concerning The Virtues of Women; I highly recommend it to people; it's a really fun short read. It's a collection of 27 historical anecdotes, kind of an ancient rebel girl's collection of somewhat obscure female figures from Mediterranean history. So Greek and Roman, but also Celtic women and Persian women, a number of different figures, let's talk rites this as a gift to a female friend of his as a memorial for another female friend who had recently passed. And he says in the introduction that he's trying to prove to show through these stories that the virtue of a man and a woman are one in the same Wow, it's debatable whether or not he really achieved that; in a way, we might think of that in the 21st century. But I always think that it's such a remarkable sort of thesis statement that he has, and when I started looking closely at it, I began to notice how many of these stories featured tyrannical men and women standing up to tyrants. And what Plutarch does, very consistently, is that these tyrannical men have a number of traits, like being overly emotional, having terrible self-control, or being deceptive, that we're traditionally associated with misogynistic characterizations of women in ancient Greece and Rome. So tyrants end up looking like bad women, or how men imagined bad women in antiquity, whereas the women, these heroines look like the best leaders, male leaders that you can find in any ancient sources. They're rational, they're eloquent, they're temperate. They're selfless in defense of their communities. And so there's this really interesting sort of gender mix-up between tyrants and women hear that he uses these tyrants as foils to these women. The big thing about these female figures, though, and I think why Plutarco is able to praise them so readily, is that they only ever act like men in order to restore a patriarchal status quo. And then they abdicate whatever temporary power or influence they have any kind of recede into their traditional feminine roles. So they aren't threatening an elite aristocratic male audience while still being sort of inspiring to women. Yeah, he kind of has it both ways with these. So all of this research felt, and I hate using this word, but it felt academic up until 2015 or 2016. When we started to see these two archetypes of the sort of heroic, possibly masculine-looking female leader and a tyrannical emotional, not a self-controlled male leader in a presidential race in the United States. And I joke sometimes that I didn't get into classics to be relevant. Yeah. But here we are. It was shocking to me reading the news and see so many of the things I've been studying in these texts coming to life in front of my very eyes. And I think this is when I really moved from working on Plutarch to working with Plutarch.

Scott Allen  20:36  
Wow, I love that phrasing.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  20:38  
Thank you, I move away from thinking about Plutarch as sort of something I'm doing an autopsy on, right to a colleague that I'm working with, to affect leadership development and moral growth. Wow. So this was a really big point of transition for me and how I thought about what I wanted to do with my research with my work. And I was really motivated for my work to have more of an impact than writing journal articles that a handful of people might read since I could felt feel the relevance of what I'm doing. I wanted to share it right, I felt responsible for sharing that. I meet my great co-conspirator Norman SandRidge, who's another co-founder and co-executive director of Kallion leadership. And this is when I start reframing, reframing what I'm doing with my research and teaching as leadership work rather than as work on Greco-Roman antiquity.

Scott Allen  21:40  
Okay. Now talk about your adventures since I love working from to working with, right? Yeah, I love that phrasing. I love that phrasing that now, the lessons that we have in some of these texts are still relevant and still incredibly informative, given our current situation, right?

Mallory Monaco Caterine  22:05  
So since then, I started working with Norman and a group of other folks in classics to begin. So John Esposito, Sarah Ferrario, Joel Christiansen, a number of other people. And we started to build collaborative courses on leadership in classical antiquity, we did one that started out as sort of a grab bag of different topics. And then, a second after the 2016 election in 2017, we made a course on ancient leadership in the era of Donald Trump, where we started to take some of the big topics that were coming to the fore in public discourse and look for the ancient connections or the ancient roots of these ideas. So looking at some of the ways that gender and leadership were being represented in texts, like the play Lysistrata, for example, or thinking about questions of immigration and refugees in Greek tragedy, or looking at the myth of Narcissus. And understanding what narcissism was or where it originates and how we understand that that works snowballed into more and more collaborative research and teaching projects and pedagogy conferences until, in 2019, we realized we need to make an actual organization because we were just a bunch of loosely affiliated faculty at other institutions separate from each other, with institutions that were sometimes confused about what we were doing, and how we were doing it. And so, at this point, in 2019, we established Kallion Leadership. Okay, Kallion is a Greek word that means "more noble" or "more beautiful," and this is what we're moving towards. Right? This is the goal. And it is really all about employing the study of the humanities for leadership development for everyone. comprehensive, inclusive leadership development, we have a number of different kinds of programming. We do faculty development workshops for Humanities educators at the college level to get them thinking of themselves as leadership trainers in a humanities classroom. And how do you design your course so that your students aren't just studying about leadership, but they're actually practicing it in what they do? And they're able to speak to the leadership skills and behaviors they've developed in a humanities classroom once they leave it? So that's one set of work that we do. We also have our Kallion Circles which are discussion groups for folks outside of higher education, where they can spend time with humanities works in careful reflective study with a group of people, but really apply that study towards their own experiences in professional settings or as citizens or in their families, because for us, we see that leadership happens in all types of communities, and that everyone has the capacity to lead, everyone has the capacity to be an agent of leadership, wherever they find them. So we use these discussion groups as a way to have a continuing sort of adult education for people who are outside of higher ed, to come back to these questions and sort of renewing themselves. And they're thinking about topics like Truth and Reconciliation topics, like human flourishing, or women's leadership, or all sorts of different questions that people may come to the table with.

Scott Allen  25:49  
I think it's incredibly valuable because 100% transparency when I think of Greek or Roman history when I think of Clue TARC, their whole worlds that I really have had very, very little training on minimal amounts of, so it's intimidating. So to have individuals like yourself, who can help guide people through some of that work and help people make those connections, I think there's just great value there because there's incredible wisdom there. But it's intimidating, it feels intimidating, at least to me, and I'm, you know, an academic.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  26:26  
Yeah, well, and so what I should say, and by the time we get to establishing Kallion as an organization, we are very clear that it is a humanities organization and not a classics organization. So we draw broadly from all human cultures across time. So we bring in works from the modern theater, or 16th-century music or medieval period, or Chinese philosophy; we are trying to bring in as broad of a human perspective on the questions of leadership that we all struggle with. So it started with people in classics, but we do everything in our power that we can to make it as big of a tent as possible for people in the humanities.

Scott Allen  27:22  
But having that guide, who even in some of those topics you just mentioned a Chinese philosophy. Yeah, that's an ocean. I mean, that's big. That's, that's a whole world. But to have a guide, who's an expert to help begin to point directions of here are some texts that are of value. Here's how to begin having conversations and thinking about some of these texts. Here's how some of this applies to contemporary issues that we're struggling with and facing, some of which have not been resolved, some of which maybe we've moved the needle. How do you think about that, as a human race? Have we moved the needle?

Mallory Monaco Caterine  28:09  
This is, is a tough one for me. So I actually just had published a chapter in an edited volume edited by Michael Harvey, on Donald Trump in a historical perspective for Rutledge and my chapter because the premise of the book is finding historical parallels, okay, for aspects of Donald Trump's rise in his presidency. So my chapters talk about Plutarch and this idea of parallel biography, but at the end, I do, I do end up on an ambiguous note that, you know, people have dealt with this before. So that's very heartening. But it is disheartening to have the same problems coming up again and again, again; this is a tension that I feel is inherent in this question of how we learn from other people's experiences. And this is, again, something that Greek and Roman authors wrestle with, as well as, do we learn from other people's experiences? And, and I don't feel resolved on that. But I think the balance for me needs to rest in a sense of hopefulness that we can share. Yeah,

Scott Allen  29:25  
you know, I was just watching. I'm gonna go from Plutarco. And fast forward. But I've been watching as I've been preparing for class, sometimes I'll use some documentaries and contemporary examples. So we have the former CEO of WeWork, where we have the former CEO of Theranos, or we have the former founder and developer of the fire festival. You have these kinds of archetypical charismatics, who I mean, we could go to Bill Clinton with some of his behavior in the White House or John F. Kennedy and his behavior in the White House. Trump and his behave If you're you have these, you know archetype charismatics, who assume positions of authority, and their own shop is in an order holistically, and bad things occur. Right? I mean, it's, it's fascinating to observe. Now in other dimensions, maybe if you look at where women were in the time of Plutarch and some of the stories he was sharing, maybe we've made some progress in that space, not, of course, across the world, but maybe progress has been made. But it's fascinating to look at it from looking at this from that scale, I have to imagine.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  30:38  
Yeah, and I think that something that we do at Kallion to try to balance that draw towards sort of individual charismatic leader figures, yes, is we have a lot of emphasis on collaborative leadership and shared leadership and everything that we do. Our mission is about designing and developing communities; everything we do is community-based. Our entire organization is built on a model of CO leadership, which is very unusual and has been something that I think adds balance to, to that a charismatic leaders getting away from themselves, right? And we have a lot of emphasis on leadership and calyon being for everyone. And by everyone. This is something these are values that we aspire to and try to live to every day. And so, for us, leadership is very much a democratic activity that we do together. And in one of the books that I've read, most recently by Kallion advisor, Jamie Raskin, Representative from Maryland, his memoir, unthinkable, he describes democracy as the form of government that we all take care of together. And so that is that idea, animating a lot of how we think about leadership, as something that we are doing, not for our own agendas, but to address the needs of others and to empower other people to achieve their potential.

Scott Allen  32:23  
Well, as we begin to kind of wind down our time together. Is there anything else you want people to know about Kallion? But then also, what have you read recently? That's, I mean, you just mentioned one, and I'll make sure that that's in the show notes. But is there anything else that you've read recently that's caught your attention, and it could also be something you've streamed or that you've just experienced, maybe it's an audio book or a podcast, something that's caught your attention in recent times that listeners might be interested in.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  32:52  
Another major program that we have at Kallion is the International camp for Democratic leadership. So this is a week-long experience for global citizens of all ages to spend time in workshops facilitated by subject matter experts from all across the humanities disciplines, strengthening their personal Democratic leadership so that they can bring that into their communities; however, you want to define them to strengthen democracy there. I love this experience. It's been virtual for the past three years, and I think we'll continue as virtual for purposes of making it as accessible to as many people as possible rather than having it be in person. But we have participants from all over the world. We have participants from age 18 to age 78. Wow. So it ends up being a very intergenerational community. It's very interdisciplinary as well. And so I come away from this experience every year with all sorts of new ideas, both about how I should lead in my own life. What are new models that I could have for how I move through the world, but also ways to teach leadership? Yeah. And so I think if you're an educator and Leadership Studies, and you're looking for a way to renew your pedagogy a little bit, doing the international camp for Democratic leadership is a great way to do that. Okay. And so we just had that in July. We'll have it again next summer. But that's another program that I really want to highlight because I think that it's doing great work, and people walk out of it with a renewed sense of hope that getting back to that question that you had that have we actually gotten that far, but people walk out with a renewed sense of hope and a feeling that I have a no a supportive community of people who are also wanting to do this work of strengthening democracy. And I think that that's invaluable. As for what I have been consuming apart from jazz fest food recently. Most recently, I have been reading really yesterday but it's been blowing my mind is The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.

Scott Allen  35:28  

Mallory Monaco Caterine  35:29  
This book, for someone who runs an organization that is focused on building community and constructing gatherings of different sizes, has been really helpful for me in thinking about what's the purpose that we're trying to achieve in these different kinds of gatherings. And how do you design a space or a setting or a size or a guest list for a gathering that serves that purpose? Well, and it's really intended as a guide for any kind of gathering, whether it's a dinner party you're having with friends, a class that you're bringing together, or a 3000-person conference. Yep. So this, I think, has been fantastic. On a lighter note and more humorous side. The other show that I've been streaming lately is what we do in the shadows. And season three of this wonderful vampire comedy involves the group of four vampires that we get to know and love in Staten Island taking over the vampiric Council, and they end up in a co-leadership model. And so, for someone who lives this every day, it's very amusing for me to see it done quite poorly in a funny way. But they're their CO supreme leaders. If you want to have a funnier look at non-traditional leadership, I would say What We Do In The Shadows.

Scott Allen  37:03  
I think I'm probably eight episodes in roughly, and my favorite is the energy vampire.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  37:12  
We all know at least one energy vampire. We all know them. And now that you have that archetype in your mind, you can say okay, and here's a funny thing. I can bring just about anything back to Plutarch to bring it back to something he says about his biographies. And about the experience he gains, the benefit he gains from writing his biographies is that he gets to keep these amazing figures from history kind of in his head almost in his house, like their house guests. That's what he says. So that if there's ever any kind of annoying or frustrating person, he has to deal with a difficult situation, he can activate these great examples and not be as bothered or be able to still achieve what he wants to achieve. And so Plutarch uses writing about other people and reading about other people as his antidote to the energy vampires that we all deal with day to day.

Scott Allen  38:19  
Well, Mallory, I am so happy that we have connected I'm so happy that we had this conversation. I know listeners are going to be very, very interested in what you're up to. And thank you. I just thank for the good work that you do. Thanks for your exploration of this topic. I think it's incredibly valuable for us to look at some of these seminal works. And, and again, to your point, it's not just from the classics; it's really a global conversation because there's wisdom from all nooks and crannies of the globe. And us having those guides to help us navigate some of those works, I think, is just incredibly valuable. I really do. So thank you for the work that you do.

Mallory Monaco Caterine  39:01  
Thank you so much, Scott. It's been such a fun conversation. I really appreciate the invitation. 

Scott Allen  39:07  
Okay, be well!

Mallory Monaco Caterine  39:09  
you too. Take care.

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