Leadership lessons from Confucius: a strong moral compass

moral compass

子曰:「君子之於天下也,無適也,無莫也,義之於比。」
Confucius said: “In dealing with the world, a leader has no prejudice or bias: he goes with what is right.”

Approach your day with an open mind. There will inevitably be problems that you need to address and differences of opinion that you have to resolve.

Don’t let your preconceptions cloud your judgment when you’re faced with such issues. Don’t allow your relationships with the people involved influence your deliberations either. Remain calm and detached. Reach your conclusions based on the objective realities of the situation at hand. Have the courage to do the right thing even if other people will question your motives and criticize you for it.

Doing the right thing requires a strong moral compass to guide your actions, but that doesn’t mean you should dogmatically adhere to narrow rules and regulations in reaching a decision. Quite the reverse in fact, because every situation is different and needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

Note

This article features a translation of Chapter 10 of Book 4 of the Analects of Confucius. You can read my full translation of Book 4 here.

I took this image at the Taipei Confucius Temple.

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