Leadership approach suggested by Lao Tzu

First of all let us specify leading?

Leadership is a really indispensable issue and can be understood in different positions. It would be really difficult to give leading a general definition because many authors have tried without making an agreement.

Harmonizing to Mullins, 2005, Good Leadership involves the effectual procedure of deputation and authorization. The Leadership relationship is non limited to leader behavior ensuing in subsidiary behavior

Susan Ward, 1997 gave a simple definition of Leadership as the art of actuating a group of people to move towards accomplishing a common end.

“ Leadership in simplest footings can be defined as an ability through which you can derive followings. To derive followings requires authorization but does non except the deficiency of dependability to accomplish this. Whether you are the pull offing manager or a displacement leader, the manner you lead is the individual biggest success factor for everyone you work with. Leaderships change the administrations around them. They make a difference to the concern, instead than merely doing the concern work. Leadership is about what you do. It involves learnable accomplishments that can be applied to the undertakings that occur in every concern. ”

Storr A. 1996

Leaderships can by and large be defined as those who take action when they do non desire to go forth things to opportunity.

“ Leadership can besides be defined as an instrument of end accomplishment ”

Bass 1990:15-16

“ Leadership is behaviour, non a place ”

Bass 1990

“ The superior leader gets things done with really small gesture. He imparts direction non through many words but through a few workss. He keeps informed about everything but interferes barely at all. He is a accelerator, and though things would non acquire done good if he were n’t at that place, when they win he takes no recognition. And because he takes no recognition, recognition ne’er leaves him. ”

Lao Tse, Tao Te Ching

Celebrated Quotation marks on Leadership

“ To take people, walk beside them… As for the best leaders, the people do non detect their being. The following best, the people honour and congratulations. The following, the people fear ; and the following, the people hate… When the best leader ‘s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves! ‘ ”

– Lao-tsu

“ If the unsighted lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch. ”

– The nazarene Jesus

“ Dictators ride to and fro upon Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams which they dare non unhorse. And the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams are acquiring hungry. ”

– Winston Churchill

“ Control is non leading ; direction is non leading ; leading is leading. If you seek to take, put at least 50 % of your clip in taking yourself-your ain intent, moralss, rules, motive, behavior. Invest at least 20 % taking those with authorization over you and 15 % taking your equals. ”

– Dee Hock

Laminitis and CEO Emeritus, Visa

“ Leadership is knowing influence. ”

– Michael McKinney

“ Peoples ask the difference between a leader and a foreman. The leader leads, and the foreman thrusts. ”

– Theodore Fdr

“ Four regulations of leading in a free legislative organic structure:

First, no affair how hard-fought the issue, ne’er get personal. Do n’t state or make anything that may come back to stalk you on another issue, another twenty-four hours… .

Second, make your prep. You ca n’t take without cognizing what you ‘re speaking about… .

Third, the American legislative procedure is one of spring and take. Use your power as a leader to carry, non intimidate… .

Fourth, be considerate of the demands of your co-workers, even if they ‘re at the underside of the totem pole… . ” – George Bush

Former President of the United States

Chester Barnard, 1997, believes that a good leader must hold qualities such as Validity, Endurance, Intellectual Capacity, Persuasiveness and he should be responsible for any determination taken.


The Rise of Contemporary Leadership Theory

Theories of leading in any period are driven by a set of strong beliefs and hopes on the portion of the theoretician. One certainty is that fleet social development makes it important to maintain one ‘s pulsation on societal alterations and their deductions for how groups of human existences can best be led, a natural premise in the Hagiographas of leading theoretician Rosabeth Moss Kanter and legion other bookmans. A ambitious position is that human nature is dead and unchanging and that the permanent lessons of history provide surer direction in leading than make the passing ripplings of modernness. Ironically, the examples of this position are comparatively ancient figures such as Lao Tzu and Machiavelli


Trait theory is all about the types of personality inclinations and behavior linked through effectual leading. Many theoreticians argued that cardinal leading trait include motive ; desire to seek power, self assurance to call a few. The biggest disapproval of this theory is that it suggests that leading personality are inherited therefore one is born with them.A


Another theory you should include in your leading thesis is “ Behavioral and manner theory of leading. In this theory the theoreticians stated that unlike the trait theory, leading is non a set of traits but a form of motivations. The Behavioral leading grid theoretical account by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton based on concern for people and concern for productiveness which are the footing of five different leading manners. Analyzing this theoretical account will give you really clear emphasize of how to place a clear leader.


This theory presumes that different manners of leadings are better in different state of affairss. Many theoreticians have given their positions about this theory. It ‘s better to understand what each theoretician proposes as to understand what they perceive is the right action on a certain state of affairs.


Contingency theories of leading focal point on peculiar variables related to the environment that might find which peculiar manner of leading is best suited for the state of affairs. Harmonizing to this theory, no leading manner is best in all state of affairss. Success depends upon a figure of variables, including the leading manner, qualities of the followings, and facets of the state of affairs.


Participative leading theories suggest that the ideal leading manner is one that takes the input of others into history. These leaders encourage engagement and parts from group members and assist group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making procedure. In participative theories, nevertheless, the leader retains the right to let the input of others.


Management theories ( besides known as “ Transactional theories ” ) focal point on the function of supervising, organisation, and group public presentation. These theories base leading on a system of wages and penalty. Managerial theories are frequently used in concern ; when employees are successful, they are rewarded ; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.


Relationship theories ( besides known as “ Transformational theories ” ) focus upon the connexions formed between leaders and followings. These leaders motivate and inspire people by assisting group members see the importance and higher good of the undertaking. Transformational leaders are focused on the public presentation of group members, but besides want each individual to carry through his or her possible. These leaders frequently have high ethical and moral criterions.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter and Kendra Van Wagner, 2001

Leadership at All Levels

“ Leadership – whoever is making it – is about making positive alteration to accomplish long-run aims.

1.1 Leadership involves puting ends, so traveling the concern towards them.

Making the best usage of resources, including people ‘s possible, is the cardinal accomplishment.

1.2 Leaderships have to gain the authorization to take.

For illustration, in a new occupation you should normally get down by inquiring inquiries. You need a sound cognition base before you start doing determinations on proficient issues.

Peoples need to be convinced of a leader ‘s expertness and finding.

1.3 Leading a squad means developing and actuating persons and group.

This includes assisting people find significance and intent in what they are making, so that it is seen to be worthwhile.

Leaderships create more leaders. By puting a positive illustration and leting people to larn and develop on the occupation, you encourage them to take a more proactive function.

1.4 Leaderships must frequently press in front where directors see jobs and back off.

For illustration, every new merchandise thought will confront a series of obstructions. A leader will happen a manner around each of them. Leaderships at supervisor or office degree need endorsing, as it is frequently hard for them to be recognised as leaders by their workmates ” .

Odirone, George S. 1961. How directors make things go on


“ Leaderships and taking are different. Leading is originating alteration by developing the program, implementing and measuring the program. Leaderships work with others at all degrees to research the nature of the needed alteration. A leader learns from others, wise mans, and managers. Leading is the verb, leader the noun. Both are necessary for alteration. ”

Linda Burnes, 2001

“ Leadership is self find, and facilitation for others. It is the energy potency that evolves from the synergism of being in the right topographic point and in the right frame of head at the right clip. This definition requires one to intuitively detect ego, develop acute intuition, seek a positive attitude, use active hearing accomplishments and pattern honest communications. ”

Bass 1990

Leadership could besides be the equilibrating energy for head, organic structure and spirit harmoniousness.

Leadership can be compassionate: Compassionate leading is the ability to be at that place for others, without retreating and without judgement. Unconditional compassion for us leads of course to unconditioned compassion for others. There are whole parts of ourselves that are so unwanted that whenever they begin to emerge in ourselves or others, we run off. We can larn to utilize all the unwanted things in our lives to rouse compassion for ourselves and others. We can so associate pityingly to people and things we would instead force off. A compassionate leader is centred, accepting, honest and clear, assisting others find their way toward integrity while seeking integrity oneself.

LAO-TZU position on Leadership

“ To take people, walk beside them… As for the best leaders, the people do non detect their being. The following best, the people honour and congratulations. The following, the people fear ; and the following, the people hate… When the best leader ‘s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves! ” Lao Tzu

From the above quotation mark from Lao Tzu, his positions on what a good leader should be are listed below:

A good leader should be able to ever screen himself out by following an array of self-oriented mechanisms to better ego public presentations such as self goal-setting, self-reward, self-criticism and by retracing his attack to direction in alliance with the scheme of being a good leader.

A good leader should ever be able to “ walk the talk ” , and to show the tight nexus between rhetoric and title to others.

A good leader should use this attitude to his subsidiaries, encompassing them in their ain goal-setting and supply positive shots wherever possible.

A good leader should believe in squad work and hold a self-leading civilization.

A good leader should be altruistic, highly low and ne’er take full congratulations for any success the squad makes.

Manz and Sims 1991


Democratic Leadership

This is a type of modern-day leading.

Unlike Lao Tzu, Bass ( 1990 ) defined leading a general definition on Leadership.

He defines Leadership as an interaction between two or more members of a group that frequently involves a structuring or restructuring of the state of affairs and the perceptual experiences and outlooks of the members. He besides explained that Leadership occurs when one group member modifies the motive or competences of others in the group. Any member of the group can exhibit some sum of leading

His ain position on leading is viewed as representing merely constructive behaviors aimed at prosecuting group ends.

This type of leading was described by Lewin and Lippitt 1938 ; as a sort of leading that involves the democratic leaders trusting upon group decision-making, active member engagement, honest congratulations and unfavorable judgment, and a grade of chumminess. They believed leaders utilizing the other manners were either tyrannizing or uninvolved.

In democratic leading, Kutner ( 1950:460 ) explains that Leaders need authorization but the deputation of authorization in a democratic group is ne’er a authorization for any leader to use authorization without the eventual blessing of the group.

“ Democratic leaders are the sort that must be accountable for the determinations they make as persons and the functions they play in the democratic group. ” ( Starhawk 1986 )

Their place in the web of power dealingss besides makes these leaders responsible for doing lines of authorization, power and determination devising clear and seeable.

“ They must maintain their dockets and motivations… unfastened and seeable, non hidden. ” ( Starhawk 1986 ; 272 )

Concepts of Democratic Leadership

Distributing Responsibility among the Democratic group ( DEMO )

Here, the democratic leader seeks to distribute duty instead than to concentrate it. The kernel of democratic leading is that it shall advance chances for the fitting enterprise of those within the society, and in the mode the latter desire.

Nagel ( 1987 ) goes farther reasoning that democratic leading should non simply ask members to take on duty ; at times, the democratic leader must be demanding in reminding people of their corporate duties. Some members may be less than enthusiastic to make their portion, and leaders who allow free riders to work fellow citizens do non function their communities good.


Here, Gibbs ( 1971 ) describes this as inquiring fellow members of the DEMOs to take on duty, this is one of many ways in leaders can assist develop members determination doing capablenesss. “ The members must be skilled at broad assortment of undertakings, such as speech production, believing and forming ” ( Evans and Boyte 1986 ) .

“ Democratic Leadership can augment member ‘s accomplishments by puting high but sensible criterions and inquiring members to dispute themselves ” ( Tead 1935 ) . Member ‘s ability may develop through taking on new duties, but leaders can besides pay a direct function by offering direction or suggestion, peculiarly when asked to make so.

Democratic leaders show echt attention and concern for the members of the DEMO ( Starhawk 1986, Desjardins and Brown 1991 ) but non in a manner that makes them into a utility parent of defender. A democratic leader must ne’er pull strings the multitudes through astute development of their outlook

Helping Deliberation

Democratic Leaderships must administer duty suitably and authorise other group members, but they must give the majority of their clip and energy to guaranting productive and democratic decision-making.

“ Deliberation is the bosom of democracy ” ( Barber 1984 ; Mathews 1988 )

Democratic leading aids the deliberative procedure through constructive engagement facilitation, and the care of healthy relationships and a positive emotional scene.


In decision, one would believe this quotation mark from Linda Burnes stating “ Leaderships and taking are different. Leading is originating alteration by developing the program, implementing and measuring the program. Leaderships work with others at all degrees to research the nature of the needed alteration. ”

As a leader you have to larn to commune your thought or the vision of your company to the people you want to follow you. You must hold ardor because you have to demo your followings that you want to carry through the end every bit severely as they do, your ardor will drive them. You must larn to be a great determination shaper. Sometimes, leaders must confront times of force per unit area where they are forced to do speedy determinations ; a great leader must hold this accomplishment. You must be a squad builder. To go a great leader, you must first do your followings great, you must hold the authorization to give your squad duties, and swear them excessively, and you must easy do them greater and greater. You must besides hold character because your unconditioned character strengths play a critical function in your leading manner.

You must besides be able to understand your followings and be able to talk their linguistic communication in order to pass on decently with them.

From research leading can see as a phenomenon that is invariably altering. This essay has highlighted some leading attacks and behaviors but there is no predicted manner of behavior for a leader. It is a affair of eventuality