Tag Archives: Confucius on recklessness

Leadership lessons from Confucius: take a hard look at yourself

take a hard look at yourself

子曰:「狂而不直,侗而不愿,悾悾而不信,吾不知之矣。」
Confucius said: “I don’t understand people who are reckless and insincere, ignorant and irresponsible, and naïve and untrustworthy.”

Take a hard look at yourself the next time you find yourself in front of the mirror. Ask yourself what are the weaknesses that are holding you back from achieving your potential. When you can’t bear to look at yourself any longer, sit down at your desk and write them down – not so much to make sure you don’t forget them but as a starting point for determining how to address them. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: take a hard look at yourself

Leadership lessons from Confucius: courage and recklessness

courage and recklessness

子謂顏淵曰:「用之則行,舍之則藏,惟我與爾有是夫。」子路曰:「子行三軍,則誰與?」子曰:「暴虎馮河,死而不悔者,吾不與也。必也臨事而懼,好謀而成者也。」
Confucius said to Yan Hui: “To take office when needed and to stay out of sight when dismissed: only you and I can do this.” Zilu said: “If you had command of the Three Armies, who would you appoint to help you?” Confucius said: “I wouldn’t choose someone who wrestles tigers barehanded or swims across rivers without fearing death. But I would choose someone who approaches difficulties with due caution and achieves victories through careful planning.” (1) (2)

There’s a huge difference between courage and recklessness. Courage means having the bravery and determination to bide your time until the right moment arrives for you to strike. Recklessness means diving in without thinking about the possible consequences of your action until it’s too late. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: courage and recklessness