Zengzi said: “When the dead are shown proper reverence and the memory of distant ancestors is kept alive, the people’s virtue is at its highest.” (1) (2)
It can be very easy to take the culture of your organization for granted. But showing respect for its history and the people who established and built it is vital for forming a common bond among everyone who joins it.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: proper reverence
The Master said: “A leader who has no gravity lacks dignity and a solid foundation for learning. Hold loyalty and trustworthiness as your highest principles; don’t make friends with people who are not your equal. When you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to correct yourself.”
Seriousness of purpose is critical in a leader. Without having a strong commitment to achieve your goal, how will you be able to put in the hard work necessary to accomplish it and to inspire other people to support you?
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: seriousness of purpose
It’s good to be back to Taipei in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival after an intense week in Shanghai and Hangzhou at the China International Industry Fair and Empower Digital China in Hangzhou.
Continue reading Boarding the AI Train from Shanghai to Hangzhou
Zixia said: “If a man values character over beauty (1), devotes himself to serving his parents, dedicates his life to his ruler, and is true to his word with his friends, I’ll insist he’s learned even if others think otherwise.”
Actions speak louder than words. As a leader you should focus on people who go about their daily work with quiet determination rather than those who attempt to grab your attention by saying all the right words and pushing themselves to the center stage by grabbing all the highest-profile assignments.
Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: quiet determination
The Master said: “A young man should be filial at home and fraternal outside it. He should be cautious and truthful, love everyone, but only develop close relationships with good people. If he still has energy to spare after all this, he should study the classics.”
How to prepare the young generation for a fast-moving and turbulent world? This was just as daunting a challenge in Confucius’s day as it is in ours due the politically and socially unstable times that he lived in. Finding suitable jobs in the bureaucracy or estates of the hereditary ruling calls was just as tough as it is nowadays for educated young people without family connections, and there was at least an equal chance of being caught up in violence and wars as the different states vied with each other for supremacy.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: character counts
The Master said: “The way to rule a thousand-chariot state(1) is to devote yourself to its affairs and fulfill your commitments; be economical in expenditure and love your subordinates; and mobilize the common people for labor at the right time of the year.”(2)
No matter how large the group or organization you lead is, the principles you should follow in order to create a productive and harmonious culture remain the same: show a strong work ethic and live up to the promises you make; keep operational costs to minimum and care for the people you work with; and don’t make unnecessary demands on them unless it is absolutely necessary.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a steady hand
Zengzi said: “I examine myself three times every day. Have I been true to other people’s interests when acting on their behalf? Have I been sincere in my interactions with friends? Have I practiced what I have been taught?”(1)
Introspection or self-reflection is critical for a leader. It can be all too easy to lose touch with reality when you’re in your cocoon surrounded by people whose careers and livelihoods depend on making sure you’re satisfied. Very few people have the courage to call you out if they think you’re making the wrong decision or going beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: self-reflection
The Master said: “Smooth talk and an affected manner are seldom signs of goodness.” (1)
How do you deal with the sycophants that inevitably gravitate towards you like bees to a honeypot when you reach a leadership position? It’s easy enough to dismiss them for their “smooth talk” and “affected manner” as Confucius does in Chapter 3 of Book 1 of the Analects, but much more challenging to create a culture around you that doesn’t stand for such behavior in the first place.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: smooth talk and an affected manner
If you’re flying from Taipei to a major city in China, Japan, or South Korea, Songshan Airport is far closer and more convenient than the main one in Taoyuan. The check-in, security, and immigration processes usually take me less than fifteen minutes thanks to the lower number of flights that go from there and the cheerful and friendly staff.
Continue reading When the travel gods smile on you
I’m looking forward to leaving for Shanghai tomorrow to attend the China International Industry Fair at the National Exhibition and Convention Center before hopping over to Hangzhou for Empower Digital China being held by Alibaba.
Continue reading From Shanghai to Hangzhou: China International Industry Fair and Alibaba Empower Digital China