Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If, as the Tao says, the best leaders are unknown those they lead, how can we find and judge leaders?

According to the Tao, the greatest leaders are unknown to their subjects. When a leader organises matters in harmony with the Tao, the subjects go about their work and believe that their projects are accomplished entirely through their own efforts. Therefore everyone is content.

Next best are leaders that are loved and praised,
then those that are feared.
The worst are hated and despised.

A.G. Laffley of Procter & Gamble may be one of the rare examples of a great leader. He does not thrust himself to the forefront. Colleagues and subordinates have said repeatedly that they do not know how he does it, but he always gets good results. I believe that had he left P&G and left his career to the power of self-promotion, he would not have been so successful. However, he spent his career in a company which carefully and accurately measures results. Most of the "great" leaders promoted by the business press are at best those in the 2nd category. People who are great leaders are likely to go unrecognized and unrewarded.

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