Tag Archives: Confucius on the petty person

Analects of Confucius Book 4: virtue never stands alone

Virtue

Confucius made regular use of the device of comparing the lofty values of a leader (君子/jūnzǐ) with the base instincts of a petty person (小人/xiǎorén). In Chapter 11 of Book 4, for example, he comments that while the former “pursues virtue” the latter only cares about the accumulation of material possessions. Leaders thus focus on improving themselves in order to better contribute to the common good of society, while a petty or small-minded people are only concerned with extracting as many material benefits as possible from it. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 4: virtue never stands alone

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: tuning your pitch

tuning your pitch

子曰:「君子喻於義,小人喻於利。」
Confucius said: “A leader is concerned about what is right; a petty person is concerned about what is in his own interest.”

When you’re preparing a proposal, take some time to understand the needs and motivations of the person you’re going to pitch it to.

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Leadership lessons from Confucius: the path to virtue

path to virtue

子曰:「君子懷德,小人懷土;君子懷刑,小人懷惠。」
Confucius said: “A leader pursues virtue; a petty person pursues land. A leader pursues justice; a petty person pursues favors.”

What is your goal in life? To accumulate material comforts or to pursue a higher path?

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Leadership lessons from Confucius: creating unity

Temple of Yan Hui: unity

子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」
Confucius said: “A leader creates unity without taking sides. A petty person takes sides without creating unity.” (1)

There are always going to be naysayers sniping away in the background when you implement a new initiative, but that shouldn’t discourage you from going ahead with it. Your role as a leader as a leader is to rise above the negativity and generate unity around your plan. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: creating unity