Leadership Lessons from Confucius Project: Week 1, 2021 updates

Quite a productive start to the year with the Leadership Lessons from Confucius project. In addition to some articles analyzing a few of the key themes of Analects Book 14, I have also added some profiles of historical figures that appear in the supporting cast. Here are the links:

Analects Book 14 Articles

Analects Book 14 by numbers: a huge supporting cast
Analects Book 14: Confucius defends Guan Zhong to Zilu and Zigong
Analects Book 14 themes: leadership for the common good
Goodness in Analects Book 14: more than just an ethical gold standard

Analects Book 14 Historical Figures

Yi the Archer
Ao the Sailor
Hou Ji
Shao Hu

Additional Updates

I have also made some updates to a couple of previous passages concerning offers of employment Confucius received in the states of Wei and Qi.

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: waiting for the right price
Analects: 9.13

I have updated the description of Confucius’s job-hunting activities following his abrupt departure from his home state of Lu in 497 BCE. During his fourteen years of exile, the only position he is recorded as having managed to secure was in the court of Duke Ling of Wei. Even that did not last very long, and he was soon on his way to the state of Song.

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: know your role
Analects: 12.11

The only state ruler who is recorded as having offered Confucius a position in his government was Duke Jing of Qi. While many sources suggest that Confucius visited the state in 517 BCE at the age of thirty-five, Annping Chin argues in her excellent book The Authentic Confucius that he went there twelve years later in around 505 BCE. Given that Duke Jing eventually decided to rescind his offer of employment because, or so he claims in 18.3, he felt he was too old take on a man like Confucius, the latter date seems like a reasonable possibility. 505 BCE would also coincide more closely with the waning of the influence of the duke’s great chief minister, Yan Ying, who died in 500 BCE, and the duke’s subsequent inability to handle the succession crisis that roiled the court.

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