leadership Lessons from Confucius: learning without thinking

learning without thinking

子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」
The Master said: “Learning without thinking leads to perplexity. Thinking without learning leads to trouble.”

We live at a time when knowledge has never been more abundant or accessible to everyone. With a few taps on the screen of our phone or a few clicks of our mouse, we can find out just about any information that we require. Continue reading leadership Lessons from Confucius: learning without thinking

Magical and mystical Longhushan: Part 1

magical and mystical longhushan

One of the great benefits of China’s High Speed Train network is that it makes it so much easier to visit places that not so many years ago were a long way off the beaten track.

After three hectic days at the 2018 World Conference on VR Industry in Nanchang (南昌), it was a huge pleasure to be able to wind down by taking the short train ride to Yingtan (鹰潭) and head out to Longhushan (龙虎山/Dragon Tiger Mountain), one of the birthplaces of Daoism. Continue reading Magical and mystical Longhushan: Part 1

Analects Book 1: Confucius on trustworthiness

Trust

Trustworthiness (信/xìn) is another of the secondary values promoted by Confucius. It means remaining true to your word and being a dependable support for others. In some contexts it can also be translated as “faithfulness”, “sincerity”,  “truthfulness”, or “honesty”. Continue reading Analects Book 1: Confucius on trustworthiness

Leadership lessons from Confucius: creating unity

Temple of Yan Hui: unity

子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」
The Master said: “A leader creates unity without taking sides. A petty person takes sides without creating unity.”

There are always going to be naysayers sniping away in the background when you implement a new initiative, but that shouldn’t discourage you from going ahead with it. Your role as a leader as a leader is to rise above the negativity and generate unity around your plan. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: creating unity

Analects Book 1: Confucius on filial devotion

FilialPiety

Filial devotion (孝/xiào) is one of the best known of the values taught by Confucius, probably because it was so heavily promoted by a succession of imperial dynasties starting with the Han who drew a direct link between obedience to parents and obedience to the ruler. Continue reading Analects Book 1: Confucius on filial devotion

Leadership lessons from Confucius: words or actions?

words or actions?

子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」
When Zigong asked about leadership, the Master said: “First accomplish what you want to say and then say it.”

Which comes first: words or actions? If you take your cue from Silicon Valley, the answer is to shout from the rooftops that your brilliant idea is going to transform the world as we know it so that you can suck in enough investors to kickstart your dream and keep it going until one fine day it stops bleeding cash and finally starts to make money (or gets bought by a bigger company that wants to get their hands on your technology and people or at least prevent the emergence of a potential competitor. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: words or actions?

Leadership lessons of Confucius: not a mere receptacle

not a mere receptacle

子曰:「君子不器。」
The Master said: “A leader is not a mere receptacle.”

How can I add value? This is the key question that you need to repeatedly ask yourself as you go about your daily work. As Confucius points out in this well-known passage, a leader is much more than a utensil or receptacle such as a cooking pot in the kitchen or a vessel on an altar. Your role is not to passively absorb information and experience but to actively sift and share it with the members of your team so that they can develop their abilities more effectively. Continue reading Leadership lessons of Confucius: not a mere receptacle

Analects Book 1: Confucius on goodness

Goodness

Confucius never provides a single unified definition of what he means by goodness (仁/rén) – the supreme value that he believed everyone should aspire to reach – in The Analects. Instead, he explores its many different facets throughout the text, either with simple statements or in response to questions from his disciples and contemporaries. Continue reading Analects Book 1: Confucius on goodness