Tag Archives: petty people

Analects Book 14 themes: leadership for the common good

Analects Book 14 themes

Leadership is one of the most important Analects Book 14 themes. In addition to seven mentions of the term 君子 (jūnzǐ), the text is littered with related passages exploring how a ruler or official should act.

One of Confucius’s favorite followers Nan Rong, named Nangong Kuo in the book, sets the ball rolling in 14.5 by comparing the fates of Yi the Archer and Ao the Sailor, two great martial heroes from antiquity, with those of the benevolent sage king Yu and Hou Ji, the inventor of new farming techniques that led to an explosive growth in agricultural productivity. Continue reading Analects Book 14 themes: leadership for the common good

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: pause and reflect

pause and reflect

Confucius said: “Although a leader may not always achieve goodness, a petty person never achieves it.”
子曰:「君子而不仁者有矣夫,未有小人而仁者也。」

We all make mistakes. When we do so, it’s important to pause and reflect on why it happened. Was it based on the right intentions or selfish motives? Did we deliberately cross the line or were we simply being careless? Was it an isolated incident or was it part of a pattern of recurring behavior? The deeper we dig, the greater the opportunity we have to learn more about ourselves and take the necessary steps to address the areas we need to improve in. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: pause and reflect

Leadership Lessons from Confucius: bringing out the good in people

bringing out the good in people

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.”

You have no greater responsibility as a leader than bringing out the good in people around you. That means spending the time to work with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and taking the necessary steps to develop and address them through mentoring, training, and assigning the right projects that will enable them to learn from experience. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: bringing out the good in people