Stoop to Lead

Tao Leadership Power


stoop to lead

As compared between a leader and his people, who do you think to be more powerful?

Providing interesting insights to the subject of Tao leadership,Lao Tzu makes a similar comparison between rivers and seas and the hundreds of streams.

Rivers and seas are more powerful than streams. They are larger, deeper and stronger.

Power of rivers and seas, however, is derived from the streams. Without the water flown from the hundreds and thousands of streams, rivers and seas will not be what they are.

Rivers and seas can be powerful, because there are ready to receive.

Similarly, from the perspective of Tao leadership, a leader is more powerful than her people, but her power is derived from her people. She needs her people to feed her with the energies. Otherwise, she has only her own resources to draw from.

Just like rivers and seas, a good leader must be ready to receive. .

To receive water from streams, rivers and seas stoop low.

To harness energy from her people, a leader positions lower as well, in order to receive.

She pays attention and listens.

She follows, before she is followed.

This is Tao of leadership. Like Lao Tzu says,

”How do rivers and seas become kings of a hundred streams?
It takes a lower position;
hence, it is king of a hundred streams.
Therefore, when The Sage is over the people
he puts himself below the people by speech.
When he leads the people,
he puts himself behind the people as a person.”(66)

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