Inspiring Leadership Lessons from Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu was a mystic philosopher from ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching. His book contains many timeless lessons on living a simple and peaceful life. Apply them to any field of work and they’ll become a powerful guiding force at every step of your journey as a leader.
Here are some leadership lessons you can learn from his teachings.
The world is on by those who let go.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything. Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.” ~ Lao Tzu
“He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.” ~ Lao Tzu
Practice giving up things when you need them.
“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao Tzu
Embrace change as a part of your life.
“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.” ~ Lao Tzu
You don’t have to be hard to be strong.
“The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.” ~ Lao Tzu
“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu
Help others to help yourself.
“The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.”
Treat everyone with goodness.
“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” ~ Lao Tzu