Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thoughts on the Tao Te Ching 17


When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it all, all by ourselves.


A. Lincoln: a great Leader
These stanzas of the seventeenth poem are a reflection on good leadership and all that it entails.  Over a 35 year career I have observed many leaders at work in a school setting.  The best leaders amongst them worked away unobserved most of the time and they achieved much. The worst of them were micro-managers seeking to control others.  Managers who were into control and power, or to put it in other words, were obsessed with their own EGO were disliked, caused acrimony among the staff and achieved little.  The above poem is a very perspicacious and wise comment on the style of a good manager where the term "Master" can be substituted easily with the word "manager." 


Once again I invite the reader of this blog to read over the above poem meditatively and to pick out a favourite word or phrase and to use the same as a mantra for a short period of reflection, say five or ten minutes.  Namaste, friends.

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