Youzi said: “If your commitments conform to what is right, you will be able to keep your word. If your manners conform to the rites, you will be able to avoid shame and disgrace. Only if you associate with reliable people will you be successful.”
Making rash promises that you have no hope or intention of fulfilling is a sure way of eroding the trust that people have in you. You might be able to get away with it for a while through sheer force of personality or verbal dexterity, but eventually the chickens will come home to roost and your credibility will be destroyed. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: rash promises
The Master said: “The way to rule a thousand-chariot state is to devote yourself to its affairs and fulfill your commitments; be economical in expenditure and love your subordinates; and mobilize the common people for labor at the right time of the year.” (1) (2)
No matter how large the group or organization you lead is, the principles you should follow in order to create a productive and harmonious culture remain the same: show a strong work ethic and live up to the promises you make; keep operational costs to minimum and care for the people you work with; and don’t make unnecessary demands on them unless it is absolutely necessary.
Continue reading Leadership Lessons from Confucius: a steady hand
Zigong asked about governance. Confucius said: “Enough food, enough weapons, and the trust of the people.” Zigong said: “If you had to go without one of these three, which one would you give up?” Confucius replied: “Weapons.” Zigong asked: “If you had to go without one of the remaining two, which one would you give up?” Confucius replied: “Food; from ancient times, death has been the fate of all men. But without the trust of the people, the government cannot stand.”
Trust in government: now there’s an interesting concept. Continue reading Trust in government
Confucius said: “I wouldn’t know what to do with someone whose word cannot be trusted. How would you pull a wagon without a yoke-bar or a chariot without a collar-bar?”
I don’t have much to add to this to this famous saying of Confucius . Trust is the key to all human relationships. Once it is broken, it is very difficult to rebuild.
In the Daodejing, selflessness is seen as an essential quality for a sage. Here is a collection of the most popular quotations on the subject of selflessness from the text. Continue reading Daodejing quotes on selflessness