THE highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware.
Next comes one whom they love and praise.
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy.
When you are lacking in faith,
Others will be unfaithful to you.
The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words.
When his task is accomplished and things have been completed,
All the people say, “We ourselves have achieved it!”
The best manager is the one hardly anyone notices
Next comes the one they love and praise.
Next comes the one they fear.
Next comes the one they despise and defy.
If you don’t show trust in your people
They won’t have trust in you.
The wise manager doesn’t take themselves too seriously, or talk too much.
When his work is done and things have been achieved,
The team will say “We did it!”
This is one of the verses that gave me the idea for this project. It’s so clear, and obvious. I like to call this verse the “It ain’t about you” verse. Look, leadership is about getting your team to perform at their best, not about grandstanding yourself. If the team relies on you to save the day, you’re doing it wrong. If they spend a lot of time telling you how fabulous you are and how they couldn’t do it without you – beware.
This is a Tao of Management.