The Master said: “A leader who has no gravity lacks dignity and a solid foundation for learning. Hold loyalty and trustworthiness as your highest principles; don’t make friends with people who are not your equal. When you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to correct yourself.”
Seriousness of purpose is critical in a leader. Without having a strong commitment to achieve your goal, how will you be able to put in the hard work necessary to accomplish it and to inspire other people to support you?
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: seriousness of purpose
Zengzi said: “I examine myself three times every day. Have I been true to other people’s interests when acting on their behalf? Have I been sincere in my interactions with friends? Have I practiced what I have been taught?”(1)
Introspection or self-reflection is critical for a leader. It can be all too easy to lose touch with reality when you’re in your cocoon surrounded by people whose careers and livelihoods depend on making sure you’re satisfied. Very few people have the courage to call you out if they think you’re making the wrong decision or going beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: self-reflection
Trustworthiness (信/xìn) is another of the secondary virtues promoted by Confucius, and means being true to your word and being a dependable support for others. In some contexts it can also be translated as “faithfulness”, “sincerity”, or “truthfulness”, “honesty”. Continue reading Analects Book 1: on trustworthiness
Loyalty (忠/zhōng) is one of what some commentators classify as the secondary virtues and is often mentioned together with trustworthiness (信/xìn). The first instance of this pairing can be found in Chapter VIII of Book 1 in which Confucius advised that a leader (君子) should, “Hold loyalty and trustworthiness as your highest principles.” Continue reading Analects Book 1: on loyalty
Confucius said: “Hold loyalty and trustworthiness as your highest principles; don’t make friends with people who are not your equal; and when you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to correct yourself.”
Presumably this is the kind of advice Confucius had in mind in the previous chapter. This is a repeat of the second half of Chapter VIII of Book 1.
Loyalty (忠/zhōng) involves taking others’ interests as central to your conduct. In come contexts, it can also be rendered as “faithfulness”. A number of references to loyalty can be found in the Analects. Continue reading Analects of Confucius: on loyalty