With the greatest leader above them,
people barely know one exists.
Next comes one whom they love and praise.
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy.
When a leader trusts no one,
no one trusts him.
The great leader speaks little.
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say,
“We did it ourselves.”
Through the 16 years or so that I have been in the Information Technology field, I have come across many types of leaders and managers. All of them could use a read through this verse. This is an excellent example of what I think true leadership is.
There are numerous books on servant leadership, principle-centered leadership, and leadership with compassion. That is the type of leadership that this verse speaks to.
Unfortunately, I have seen many examples where the boisterous, aggressive, and overbearing leaders are rewarded and promoted for their actions. The bottom line of the company speaks louder to many than how the people of the organization are being treated. This leads to disloyalty, sabotage, and disgruntled workers. The immediate gains might be obtained by this type of leader, but the longer term impacts are far worse. I think of companies like the former MCI and how it burned through people like most companies go through reams of paper. The management would take people in, treat them like dirt and get everything they could out of them and then spit them out and move to the next set of new hires. Hmmm, I wonder why they are not in business anymore.
Leaders that are focused on the greater good of the organization and its people will see further reaching and more sustainable success.