One of my favorite and most prized books is the Tao of Leadership: Leadership Strategies for a New Age by John Heider, first published in 1985. .
One that I read and re-read, and occasionally just flip open, to see what my message is for the day. The Tao te Ching (pronounced Dow day Jhing) was written by Chinese sage Lao Tzu in the 5th century bce. There are many versions in today’s world, many translations. And I own several of them, loving the simplicity, power and directness of the Tao. I also love looking at different translations of a particular verse – an excellent way to draw additional wisdom from the juicy words.
The juiciest, the simplest, the clearest is The Tao of Leadership. It is all about working in and with groups, which is what all of us actually do every day, no matter what our job title. Our family is our first group, and the rest of each day is filled with groups large and small, planned and encountered by chance.
Here’s the verse that just came through for me. Verse 32: Unity. Tao cannot be defined. One can only say that it is the single principle responsible for every event or thing.
When the leader has regard for this principle, and for no lesser theories, the group members trust the leader. Because the leader pays equal attention to everything that happens, there are not prejudices to divide the group into factions. There is unity.
Because the group is grounded in a natural and obvious righteousness, rules and regulations are not needed to make people behave….From this unity we learn how things happen.
Aaaahhhh. This book is so true it brings tears to my eyes.