The answer is clear:  Tao Te Ching a book on leadership.

In fact, I’d venture to say that it’s an authority on leadership.  Although written more than 2000 years ago, its advice on how one can be a good leader is so vivid and relevant.

The leadership style it advocates is one that is based on influence, trust and empowerment, rather than authority and coercion.

This can be seen in perhaps his most famous chapter in the book on leadership – Chapters 17.

“The best leaders are those the people hardly know exist.
The next best is a leader who is loved and praised.
Next comes the one who is feared.
The worst one is the leader that is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
they will become untrustworthy.

The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly.
When she has accomplished her task,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

Translated by J H McDonald

Among his followers are emperors in the Chinese history.

The most notable among them was Taizong Emperor of the Tang Dynasty (599 to 649 AD), who claimed that he was a descendant of Lao Tzu. Not only did he actively promoted the teachings of Lao Tzu, but also applied the philosophy for the management of the dynasty, making it one of the most prosperous in Chinese history.

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