Leadership lessons from Confucius: constant renewal

constant renewal

子曰:「夷狄之有君,不如諸夏之亡也。」
Confucius said: “Even the Yi and Di tribes that have chieftains can’t match the various states in our land that don’t have rulers.” (1)

The culture of an organization requires constant renewal in order to stay strong and vibrant. That means it needs to be open to new ideas and ways of thinking from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: constant renewal

Leadership lessons from Confucius: the essence of ritual

essence of ritual

林放問禮之本。子曰:「大哉問!禮,與其奢也,寧儉;喪,與其易也,寧戚。」
Lin Fang asked: “What is the essence of ritual?” Confucius said: “That’s a big question! For festive ceremonies, simplicity is better than extravagance; for funerals, genuine grief is better than excessive formality.” (1) (2)

There’s no need to lavish huge amounts of money on a fancy event just to impress other people. Keep things simple. Authenticity beats lavishness. Moderation trumps ostentation. Speak from your heart – not from your wallet. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: the essence of ritual

Leadership lessons from Confucius: on tokenism

tokenism

子曰:「人而不仁,如禮何?人而不仁,如樂何?」
Confucius said: “If someone has no goodness, what can they have to do with the rites? If someone has no goodness, what can they have to do with music?” (1) (2)

Going to church every Sunday morning doesn’t make you a good Christian unless you’re committed to learning and applying the values that are being taught at the service. Not even the most inspiring hymns will be able to stir your soul if your only reason for being there is to make yourself look good in front of the community. You might as well stay in bed at home for all the good it will do you.

Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: on tokenism

Bracing walks in the crisp country air

bracing walks

There’s nothing like a few bracing walks in the crisp country air to clear the cobwebs out of your mind and build up some perspective on the developments of the past year. At least that’s what I’ve found myself doing during my daily peregrinations along the rutted paths of the fenscape.

Not surprisingly given the speed with which it has replaced IoT as the high-tech buzzword du jour, the subject of AI has been prominent in my thoughts. Are we really moving towards the long-predicted singularity in which the machines take charge and destroy humanity or are we going to harness this technology to help us solve the great challenges of our time such as climate change? Continue reading Bracing walks in the crisp country air