Enlightened Leadership

true leadership
Photo by Kevin Dooley

There are 4 kinds of leaders.

The lowest class of leader is one who is despised – who gains authority by inheritance, position or political ruthlessness.

The next kind of leader is one who is feared – who rules with an iron hand, whose punishment and retribution is swift against those who oppose him.

The next kind of leader is one who is loved – who embraces the people and shares their joys and sorrows, who understands their plight, who is pure in heart.

But the best kind of leader is one who goes unnoticed – he doesn’t assert himself, but trusts in his peoples’ capacities and abilities and empowers them to fulfill their duties and responsibilities; his leadership creates more leaders and encourages others to participate.

This leader knows that in refusing to trust his people, he makes them untrustworthy; in refusing to love them, he makes them unlovable; in refusing to value their independence, he makes them dependent.

This leader doesn’t talk much, but he does much. He doesn’t need to say a lot, but lets his actions speak for him.

And when this leader is done with his work, when he has reached the apex of his success, his people will say, “We did it! And we did it all by ourselves!”

Inspired by the Tao Te Ching, verse 17

Be a Mirror

The preacher said, “The best thing that we can do is to leave everything in God’s hands. Realize that only he knows what is best for us. Don’t insist on your way but let God decide your path.”

photo courtesy of aloshbennet, Flickr
photo courtesy of aloshbennet, Flickr

Replied the master, “If I followed your advice, I would wake up everyday and do nothing. What you are seemingly advocating as courageous faith is really a cowardly act of avoiding responsibility. What your God would probably want you to do is to have some spine and own up to the decisions you make. Realize that whatever happens to you is no one’s fault but your own (yes, it’s not even God’s fault even though you’re too afraid to admit that you blame him). Realize too, that nothing is ever good or bad. It is only within a particular situation or frame of reference that they are good or bad for you.”

“This is the key to wisdom: Be a mirror. A mirror reflects but never judges whether what is reflected is beautiful or ugly. It simply shows reality as it is. Be a mirror. Be silent. Judge not.”

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