A Fool's-Eye View

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Leadership: Ten.

The greatest leader does not get people marching. 
He is the one that lets them know they can stop. 

A charismatic leader moves people.
People fall in with his wishes and follow where he leads.
An authoritarian leader forces people to his will.
Ego commands action.
The best leader leads by his own example.
He stops, and is content to be.

And be.

Notice the need to conform, impress, placate, control, evade, all fall away.
Stop trying to get away with things and to give the impression of being what you are not.
Become what you are.


  1. Aloha!
    I've been obsessed with a Korean drama series, Jumong, which among other things has leadership as a key theme. When Jumong finally achieves his goal of a just Korean nation with the help of his very devoted followers, they beg him to become the king, but he doesn't want to be enthroned. He was a SUPERB and charismatic leader, but declined the role. Ultimately he does reluctantly become the emperor, not for himself, but for his people. All the other characters who are lusting for power and position have colossal failures.

    I've been interested in this as I am in a work environment which is plagued with authoritarianism that causes the charismatic leaders a lot of trouble. The authoritarian owns the company. Today the charismatic leader told me it was time to go home, we were done; the authoritarian is probably going to work all night.

  2. Well commented and thank you!
    Strangely, perhaps, I don't see charismatic leaders as any better than authoritarian ones:
    The best of leaders being the one whose ego is not involved, and who has no desire to make, or change, history.
    He leads, merely because somebody has to.
    And he sees how, where others may not.

  3. Well, yes, I think you are right; I was thinking as a follower/employee. But I do appreciate leadership with vision.

  4. Well. You are back!

    I think I agree that the best leader is the one who simply is, and leads by example. Something seems to have gone terribly awry in the historical process, however, in that people follow dysfunctional examples. Perhaps that is just my opinion though.

    The leadership theory would fit in well with a cyclical theory of history, like that of the Hindus or of Spengler in our own time, in which culture is naturally bound by a common worldview in youth, and in obeying the leader one obeys oneself. But in old age the worldview of the culture falls apart, and all that is left is money, force, and an empty, comfortless individualism.

    "Become what you are."

    I see Taoism and Nietzsche coinciding, at least on this point.

    Much better than the much vaunted, "You can be whatever you want to be", in my opinion.

  5. Nice to see you SP.
    I am not so much "back" as having a rare moment where I am moved to write down my thoughts.
    Maybe I will feel moved to do more of that :)
    Your comment was generous and clear.
    Thank you.

  6. ... Become what you are... yes indeed... being true to yourself


Comments are welcome, while remembering:
Taoism is all about balance, thus:
Politics are not part of taoism.