Tag Archives: character of Confucius

Leadership lessons from Confucius: taking yourself out of the equation

taking yourself out of the equation

子絕四,毋意,毋必,毋固,毋我。
Confucius avoided four things: conjecture, arbitrariness, stubbornness, and egotism.

Every situation you face is different. Investigate it thoroughly before jumping to conclusions about how to deal with it. Just because you may have encountered something similar in the past, it doesn’t mean that you should follow the same playbook this time. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: taking yourself out of the equation

Leadership lessons from Confucius: gracious but serious

gracious but serious

子溫而厲,威而不猛,恭而安。
Confucius was gracious but serious; commanding but not severe; respectful but at ease.

The problem with optimizing a single aspect of your behavior is that very quickly the law of diminishing returns will kick in and ultimately your efforts will backfire. Take graciousness as an example. Although it is of course important to be polite to people, if you take your politeness too far they will soon regard your behavior as fake or even a sign of weakness. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: gracious but serious