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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eastern Leadership: The Tao Te Ching

Searching for a better model of leadership to help my clients, I discovered—through PBS no less—the Tao Te Ching, as I listened to a Wayne Dyer’s presentation and book entitled: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. Since seeing that show, I’ve become a student of the ancient text (the Tao Te Ching) written by Lao Tzu in 500 BC as basically an instruction manual to the leaders of a divided China during the warring states period of its history.

In only 81 verses, Lao Tzu teaches with humble, pristine clarity a new model of leadership quite ddifferent, and I believe, ultimately complementary to western leadership. So powerful is the Tao Te Ching, it has been translated into nearly as many languages as the bible. Consisting of only 5,000 Chinese characters, many of which are not even used today, the Tao has been interpreted by many scholars.

It’s impossible to find a single definitive translation of the Tao Te Ching, so I’ll use the one interpreted by Wayne Dyer in a follow up book called Living the Wisdom of the Tao. In this book, Dyer credits the translation by Jonathan Star (Tao Te Chin: the Definitive Edition) as the version “that most resonated with my vision and interpretation of the Tao.”

This week I will extract key leadership lessons from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (and interpreted by Wayne Dyer in Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life).

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