Archive for September, 2008

Watching election campaign and listening to speeches and debates make me think hard of the meaning of leadership.  What does it mean to lead?  What does it mean to be a qualified leader?  I can’t help but be reminded of a quote by Lao Tzu on the meaning of leadership which is to lead without leading.  Is leadership all about the leader and his or her ability or is it about the people?  Should the aim of leadership be “to become more and more important for the country” or should one become less and less important to the point where everything is going smoothly and the leader is contented with being insignificant?  Is it the vision of the leader that matters or the vision of the people that counts?  Here is what Lao Tzu has to say about leadership.  I particularly love the last part “We did this ourselves.” 

“A leader is best
When people barely know that
he exists,
Not so good when people obey and
acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
Fail to honor people,
they fail to honor you;
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done,
his aim fulfilled,
They will say
We did this ourselves.”

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