Blog
home | site map | privacy policy


The Tao of Leadership


There can be no doubt that the ancient author of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tzu, was a man of unique wisdom whose writings continue to influence people of different backgrounds and faiths.

Many leaders then and now get wrapped up in selfish ambition. They would do well to listen to what Lao-Tzu had to say on the subject of leadership.

There are several English translations of the Tao Te Ching available on-line. The following selections are from a translation by C. Ganson.

Leaders Work Humbly

Leaders should not seek power or status; people will not then crave power or status. If scarce goods are not valued highly, people will have no need to steal them. If there is nothing available to arouse passion, people will remain content and satisfied.

The truly wise do lead by instilling humility and open-mindedness, by providing for fair livelihoods, by discouraging personal ambition, by strengthening the bone-structure of the people.

The wise avoid evil and radical reform; thus the foolish do not obstruct them. They work serenely, with inner quiet.

In my involvement in scouting, I have certainly observed humble leadership. Although some of us enjoy getting up in front of people and receiving occasional recognition for our efforts, there are many more people who prefer simply to stay in the background. Without such people, most scout units would not survive.

Unfortunately, humbleness is perhaps a little less common in the business world. Corporate managers should definitely take notice.

Also, I think it is good advice for leaders to avoid radical reform. This is especially true in an organization where the leadership tends to change fairly quickly. This is certainly true in Cub Scouts where the leadership tends to change whenever a new set of boys graduate into Boy Scouts and their parents move on too.

When new leaders take over, it is tempting to want to make radical changes to try to rectify past problems. However, this may create unexpected tension with other leaders who may not share the vision of the new people.

I have seen this situation in scouting and in my corporate experience as well. A new manager who immediately begins making changes before having established a raport with his/her employees will not garner a lot of respect.

The Best Leader

The best leaders, the people do not notice.The next best, the people honor and praise.The next, the people fear;and the next, the people hate.

If you have no faith,people will have no faith in you,and you must resort to oaths.

When the best leader's work is donethe people say: "We did it ourselves!"

Good leaders don't try to do it all themselves. They delegate. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to get enough people who are willing to take on responsibilities of a leadership position, especially in volunteer organizations.

However, it is much easier to get people to agree to help with small things. There are many people who are willing to help, but just don't want a long term committment. Official leaders should not overlook the contribution that such people can make.

Furthermore, good leaders don't try to take all the credit. Imagine if a scout leader took all the credit for everything their boy scouts or girl scouts did. It would be unthinkable! Although we may guide and assist them along in their activities and achievements, we want them to always proudly proclaim "We did it ourselves!"

So, why do some managers seem to want to take all the credit in the business world? Employees who have a strong sense of accomplishment will certainly be happier and more productive. As a result, the organization will thrive and so will the manager.

The author, Greg Bonney, is the owner of Bonney Information and E-Commerce and founder of Scoutcamping.com (http://www.scoutcamping.com).

Copyright 2005 Bonney Information and E-Commerce.

Leadership is best defined by the quality of your thoughts, decisions and actions. It is also underpinned by the quality of the tools you use in your role. Be seen to bring true leadership to your organization and act with the authority that it brings to you.

Site Build It! Tools


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times

Few Overseas Have Faith in Trump's Leadership, Survey Finds
New York Times
WASHINGTON — Faith in American leadership has plunged in many nations around the world in the months since President Trump took office, according to a new survey, underscoring the challenges facing the new president as he prepares to make his ...
US Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump's LeadershipPew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project
The Trump effect: Canadian, Mexican confidence in US leadership plummetsThe Globe and Mail

all 35 news articles »


Forbes

American Dream Leadership Series #1: Clarke Miyasaki Gives His Stance on Start-ups and Leadership
Forbes
Over the past couple years, I've written about everything small business-related, from business owners who have been able to grow their business through access to capital, to changes at the Small Business Administration, and how small businesses can ...



CNN

Sen. Rand Paul: 'Senate leadership is not negotiating with our office'
CNN
"So far the Senate leadership is not negotiating with our office," Paul said in an interview on CNN's "Newsroom." "I'm trying to negotiate with the President, but really the President is going to have to tell leadership it's going to have to negotiate ...
Ron Johnson on Senate healthcare bill: Leadership wants 'to jam this thing through'Washington Examiner
Rand Paul asks President Trump for help with GOP leadershipWHAS 11.com
Rand Paul Says GOP Leadership Isn't Negotiating With Him On Health BillTPM
The Hill (blog) -Forbes -RealClearPolitics -Senate Budget Committee
all 9,952 news articles »


CNET

Black lawmakers urge Uber to diversify its leadership
CNET
These are positions the CBC said it believes would "benefit" from African American leadership. The CBC also wants Uber to provide a written, detailed plan on what steps the company will take to hire more diverse leadership. "Given the broad reach of ...
Uber: Congressional Black Caucus Urges Leadership Diversify ...Fortune

all 6 news articles »


CBS News

Nancy Pelosi responds to calls for new Democratic leadership
CBS News
June 26, 2017, 8:02 AM | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi became a member of Congress through a special election 30 years ago. She has led House Democrats for the last 14 years, including a stint as the first female speaker. But the Democratic Party ...
58% of Democrats Say Their Party Needs New LeadershipRasmussen Reports
Pelosi on criticism of leadership: 'This is such a small item, it isn't about me'The Hill
Pelosi defends leadership following special election lossABC News
Forbes -MyAJC -Washington Examiner -Politico
all 1,972 news articles »


Washington Examiner

Finally, the VA has solid, reform-minded leadership
Washington Examiner
With today's political polarization, it's worthwhile to pause and focus on what's going right in Washington. Let's start by commending the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin, for his steady and decisive leadership in the ...

and more »


The Hill

Perry: Trump wants to use energy for 'global leadership'
The Hill
President Trump wants the United States to use its energy as a geopolitical tool for influence and leadership, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said. Perry spoke with reporters Monday about how he, Trump and the administration see their stated goal of ...

and more »


Washington Post

Study: Voters facing economic uncertainty prefer a dominant leader ...
Washington Post
The new research is a reminder that candidates matter — but so does context.

and more »


Learn leadership skills through walking your dog
Lynchburg News and Advance
People wanting to learn leadership skills can drop the expensive classes and opt instead to walk a leashed dog in a neighborhood full of loose dogs. You get instant instructive feedback with this method. My dogs are leash reactive. That means they go ...



The Journal News | LoHud.com

It's business, and it's personal: Leadership Westchester
The Journal News | LoHud.com
For 20 years, they have come from all segments of Westchester's business world — from corporate, civic and nonprofit organizations — to learn something about leadership. What more than 300 graduates of Leadership Westchester have taken back to their ...


Google News

© 2016 Definition Of Leadership & Career Consulting Limited