The Way of Heroes: The Treasure Hunt

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” — Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Charles Wauters (1809-1869): Der beim Diebstahl ertappte Hausdiener

It seems that almost all individuals or corporations are obsessed with accumulating wealth. Some make it, most do not. Still, the search for riches has constantly occurred throughout history.

There were always cities of gold such as El Dorado and Shangra-la just beyond the next mountain range. The Spanish conquistadors such as Cortez (who conquered the Aztecs), and Pizarro (who conquered the Incas) had in mind glory, riches unimaginable, and a title from the crown. 

Map of Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stevenson, from the first German edition, published in 1863

The treasure hunt has been a consistent story in the great works of literature and now in the movies. Ali Baba found a cave full of precious minerals and jewels  stolen by thieves in a Thousand and One Nights. In the movies, the treasure hunt was taken up by Lara Croft and Indiana Jones. And the Hobbit is a story about reclaiming immense treasure guarded by a dragon.

Today, hunting for treasure commonly involves getting the right degree from the right university. Or getting to the c-level to unlock a large corporate war chest that contains not gold, rubies and sapphires, but stock options, deferred compensation and golden parachutes. In some countries, it is a position in government that causes the gold to flow. But pandering to one’s greed is ultimately not a wise thing to do and can will prevent other types of journeys.

Resources and References

Aesop’s Fables (N.D.), Project Gutenberg.

Campbell, Joseph (2008). The Hero of a Thousand Faces, Third Edition. New World Library.


Leadership Skill Development