Filed under Books



There are four types of leaders:

The best leader is indistinguishable

from the will of those who selected her.

The next best leader enjoys the love

and praise of the people.

The poor leader rules through coercion and fear.

And the worst leader is a tyrant despised

by the multitudes who are the victims of his power.

What a world of difference among these leaders!

In the last two types, what is done

is without sincerity or trust – only coercion.

In the second type, there is harmony

between the leader and the people.

In the first type, whatever is done happens

so naturally that no one presumes to take the credit!

Verse 17 from the Ralph Alan Dale translation 2002

10 Comments CherryPie on Mar 14th 2011

10 Responses to “Leaders”

  1. Mr Cameron is definitely distinguishable.
    So I reckon he’s not the best leader then. ;)

  2. Marcie says:

    Such inspiring wisdom. Thank-you for this!

  3. H. insciens says:

    “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

    Take note, despots…

  4. Ginnie says:

    Lots to think about here, Cherie. I love quotes like this….

  5. Janice says:

    Why are the people starving?
    Because the rulers eat up the money in taxes.
    Therefore the people are starving.
    Why are the people rebellious?
    Because the rulers interfere too much.
    Therefore they are rebellious.
    Why do people think so little of death?
    Because the rulers demand too much life.
    Therefore the people take death lightly…
    #75, Lao Tzu.
    (Translation by Gia-fu Feng)

    There are so many one could quote that tie in …

    • CherryPie says:

      I really love the writing of Lao Tzu, they are very profound and thought provoking.

      I also have a copy of the edition you mention :-)