THE five colours blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavours cloy the palate.
Racing and hunting madden the mind.
Rare goods tempt men to do wrong.
Therefore, the Sage takes care of the belly, not the eye.
He prefers what is within to what is without.
Too much flash blinds you to a lack of content.
Too much razzle dazzle deafens you to truth.
Too much stuff dulls you to what matters.
Racing around for the latest fad will make you mad.
The temptation to possess will push you to transgress.
Therefore, the good manager takes care of his people, not his desires.
He prefers to keep content rather than chase after glory.
Look, I realize the irony in posting something like this in a series that basically just adds one more wrinkle to the mass of advice on how to manage well. So I’ll just acknowledge it. Yes, the advice here is that you should ignore all these fads and latest theories of management and trying to be the “best employer” or “best place to work” or on some national or international ISO or TQM or whatever is the “best practice” coming out of Harvard of Standford.
Take care of your people. Take care of your environment at work. I saw a great example of this today. A very smart new Executive Director got her nearly all new staff together over the weekend and they redesigned their offices. Gone are the institutional colors and the racks of office supplies and in are bold colors and ingenious paint jobs and tasteful new furniture in the break room. She took care of her people by putting them in the center of the work space. The space now serves them, and it is theirs. They made this, just like they make the company.