Tao of Management Verse 3

I will admit this one was hard for me.  It seems to call for just the sort of Yin energy in management that I always felt was contrary to modern management practices.

I may be entirely wrong, but when I looked deeper I thought I saw something more important at work.

Verse 3:

By not exalting the talented you will cause the people to cease from rivalry and contention.
By not prizing goods hard to get, you will cause the people to cease from robbing and stealing.
By not displaying what is desirable, you will cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed.

Therefore, the Sage’s way of governing begins by

Emptying the heart of desires,
Filling the belly with food,
Weakening the ambitions,
Toughening the bones.

In this way he will cause the people to remain without knowledge and without desire, and prevent the knowing ones from any ado.
Practice Non-Ado, and everything will be in order.

My Interpretation:

Don’t praise too much, you’ll spark jealousy
Don’t covet what cannot be shared by all
Display the trappings to success and you’ll only get envy

So the good Leader should start:

With an empty desire for the self
With a full belly (sometime the tao is not a metaphor)
With a weak ambition for recognition
And a strong foundation of belief

This way you prevent jealously, envy, and greed; stifle self-centered service and personal ambition of your team.
Practice wholeness in your leadership and all will follow.


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