Lao Tzu Leadership Influences

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Introduction Lao Tzu, the Father of Taoism, lived a large part of his life searching for an individual’s “path of natural goodness.” He is known for numerous inspirational quotes, such as “Be the Chief, but never the lord.” I became aware of this quote several years ago and it has been a source of encouragement throughout my Coast Guard career. The title of lord is inherited or given as a positional power granted by landowners. The Chief is chosen by the people to make the right decisions for their advantage. It is an earned position of trust. Based on my interpretation of Lao Tzu’s quote, my definition of leadership is to have others follow by choice not by mere power. A person cannot rule by force given to them by rank and expect…show more content…
I do not state where I see my subordinates to be. I need to be more open as to what I expect of my subordinates to get them to meet future goals. If they do not have the future goals laid out for them, how can I expect them to reach it? These goals will give them something measurable to strive for.
#5 Praise people for a job well done also needs my attention. I have a terrible habit of correcting and praising in private. I need to keep correcting in private, but praise in public. I acknowledge their hard work with awards, but those tend to have time restrictions often taking months or years after the incidents. Giving immediate recognition is a practice I need to adopt. It is not difficult telling someone “Great job today” or “Good work” but it is hard to get into that routine. I also realize that there must be a balance between recognition and praise to not overdo it and thereby making it meaningless.
My hardest challenge will be #8 because it Challenges people to try out new and innovative ways to do their work. My subordinates must be given the opportunity to grow. If they don’t see me letting go of the reigns to give them ownership, they will see my supervision as being a lord and not a leader. It will be tough to see them disappointed with the failure; that is what stops me from letting them have their own experiences in leadership. I need to let them try different methods to do their work if they feel my way is not the most efficient,
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