Tag Archives: culture

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: turning an idea into reality

turning an idea into reality

子曰:「博學於文,約之以禮,亦可以弗畔矣夫。」
Confucius said: “If you expand your learning through culture and keep your behavior in check through ritual you’re unlikely to go wrong.”

It can be easy to get so consumed by an idea that you lose sight of how to turn it into reality. While the numbers may look amazing in the spreadsheets and presentation files you hastily cobble together and the initial feedback from the small circle of friends you trust enough to tell them about it is off the charts, your unicorn is just a twinkle in your eye until you figure out the actionable steps that will be required to let it loose into the world. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: turning an idea into reality

Leadership lessons from Confucius: native substance versus cultural refinement

cultural refinement

棘子成曰:「君子質而已矣,何以文為?」子貢曰:「惜乎,夫子之說君子也,駟不及舌!文猶質也,質猶文也;虎豹之鞹,猶犬羊之鞹。」
Ji Zicheng said: “Native substance determines whether or not you’re a leader. What use is cultural refinement?” Zigong said: “What a pity you’ve chosen to describe a leader in this way. ‘A team of horses cannot catch up with a tongue.’ Cultural refinement is native substance; native substance is cultural refinement. Without their hair, the pelts of tigers and leopards are just the same as those of a dog or a sheep.”

It takes much more than raw talent to become a leader. Native smarts and a raging fire in your belly can only get you so far. The larger and more complex your startup grows, the more you’ll need to develop your knowledge and skills to meet ever greater and more diverse challenges. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: native substance versus cultural refinement

notes from the field: you can’t squeeze any more juice from the pulp

squeezing juice from the pulp

Unfortunately, the flavor in the caffeine-free latte served up in the second half of Agency was no stronger than in the first half. It singularly failed to give enough of a jolt to get me to care about the fates any of the characters – not even those facing the threat of a nuclear war in their stub.

I see that the novel has attracted a distinct duality of reviews on Amazon. There are those who love it for the elegance and cleverness of the prose and the insights it allegedly sheds on our own tumultuous times. Then there are others who, as one disappointed fan so aptly put it, “suppose there comes a time when you can’t squeeze any more juice from the pulp.” I am in the latter camp – but don’t just take my word for it. Go over to Amazon and see for yourself. Continue reading notes from the field: you can’t squeeze any more juice from the pulp

Analects of Confucius Book 1: Confucius on culture

Culture

The character 文 (wén) originally meant “patterns”, though it is more often translated as “culture” or “civilization” as it refers to arts such as literature, calligraphy, music, ritual, mathematics, and even archery and charioteering. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 1: Confucius on culture

Leadership advice

子張問「政」。子曰:「居之無倦,行之以忠。」
Zizhang asked about governance. Confucius said: “Execute the responsibilities of your office untiringly. Carry out your duties loyally.”

子曰:「博學於文,約之以禮,亦可以弗畔矣夫。」
Confucius said: “If you expand your learning through culture and keep your behavior in check with the rites you are unlikely to go wrong.”

子曰:「君子成人之美,不成人之惡。小人反是。」
Confucius said: “A leader brings out the good in people – not the bad. A petty person does exactly the opposite.”

Some useful leadership advice: if you set the right example to others and bring out the good in them, they will automatically follow you. Continue reading Leadership advice