Tag Archives: Lao Tzu

when leaders fail to lead

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
― Lao Tzu

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Maybe you’ve seen it before, a callous remark by someone who has a role of leadership that says, “I’m more important than you!”.   Maybe you’ve felt those sentiments and asked yourself, “is this the place I want to work at.”   High performance organizations know how to engage the staff and find ways to inspire   their staff so they can excel, does yours?

What kind of organization do you work at?   What do the leaders say to you?  How to they encourage you to be your best?  How do you they encourage you to learn?

There is a distinct difference between leadership and management.  Managing is about getting specific results and in older models people used command and control to get those results.   Today work is far less about being told what to do, and rather more about inspiring people to commit their best.   Some leaders haven’t figured that out yet and believe that leadership is about controlling others.

Companies that enjoy great success often are led by people who inspire and engage all the staff in the company.    Effective leadership is often driven by engaging the positive emotions of the people that are being led.    Positive emotions can be leveraged to create the opportunity for desired change.

When was the last time you spoke with a leader in your organization where you were encouraged to excel?

What does leadership look like in your organization?

Examine your answers.  Determine what kind of organization you work for and what type of leadership is being exhibited.   Observe your emotions over the course of a day, or a week.  What sensations do you have?   How do you feel when you get home?   Energized, drained, indifferent?

One example of a company that is well led is Trilogy Health Care Services.  Take a look at their mission and vision.

In this video clip learn what Bob Davis has to say about leadership and what it takes to lead authentically.

 

silence the busyness

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” Lao Tzu

How busy are you?   On a scale of 1-10 how busy do you think your life is?   Very busy, extremely busy, overwhelmingly busy, or worse?   Being busy is something that has been popularized by our society – be productively busy, be busy playing games, be busy watching TV, be busy doing, be busy giving, be busy …

The Chinese words that make up busy are “heart” and “death”.    Being busy creates death in the heart.   We often don’t find time to just reflect.   We often don’t take time to let the quiet interrupt our soul’s journey.

Eckhart Tolle wrote, When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait…So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”  T.S. Eliot

Take time to silence the noise, the busyness of life and take a deep breath and let silence flow in and out of your soul.   Take time out to be in stillness.

Remember busyness is the death of the heart, the soul, and the ideas that prance around in our minds, the ideas that float in the clouds, the dreams that form on the setting skies, and the dreams that are launched at the end of the rainbow.

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.”  Rollo May

The faster our lives become the faster our life becomes not.

what is leadership?

What is leadership to you?   How do you live when you are leading?   How do you lead you?

Ancient wisdom from Tao 17 offers us a good definition of leadership.   There are many others, tons of leadership definitions all trying to explain what leadership is.

Tao 17

The best leaders are those the people hardly know exist.
The next best is a leader who is loved and praised.
Next comes the one who is feared.
The worst one is the leader that is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
they will become untrustworthy.

The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly.
When she has accomplished her task,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

From http://www.wright-house.com/religions/taoism/tao-te-ching.html#17

Imagine the possibilities if all leaders practiced the kind of leadership expressed in Tao 17.   Leaders have to learn to let go, to shift the control to the people and then let them reach the goal.

You know the answer

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” Lao Tzu

You know the answer even though you may not know the question that needs to be asked.  The self-help industry is huge.  It offers ways to transform your life into the life you want.   The only problem is that the self-help industry doesn’t answer your question.  

People read and digest self-help information only to find that in a couple of months nothing has change and perhaps the situation is even worse.     It looked so appealing, so powerful and with everyone it seems getting results why doesn’t it work for you?  

You don’t need the answer, you need the question.  

What do you desire from your life?

What do you want to leave behind as a legacy to your contribution here on earth?

What do you want  your family to value in you?

What do you need that satisfies your deepest desires?

What quesiton do you need to ask?

Stepping beyond the present fear

Fear is beginning to permeate the air.  Companies big and small are dismissing employees as the economy continues its freefall downward.   The economy is experiencing greater stress as each day passes.

What can be done to restore the hope that is needed to get the economy to being its upward movement?

 

 

Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.

Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

Written by Lao-tzu
From a translation by S. Mitchell

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html#13

Reflect

“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”  Einstein

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”  Lao Tzu

Take a moment and reflect on this past week.

What did you learn?

Did you thank someone?

Did you find joy in your week?

Did you find peace in your week?

Write down the high points from the past week?   Can you repeat them?

Take a deep breath – exhale – relax and refresh your mind.