When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”
These words come from Lao Tzu, author of The Tao Te Ching, and refer to verse 15. Lao Tzu and The Tao are an inspiration for me in my life as a student, teacher, man, etc. I often find myself coming back to this book for perspective and grounding. So, yesterday I was reading verse 15 and I was reminded of something I often find myself quoting, the idea of ‘When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.’
I embrace this philosophy and I strive to be this kind of teacher/coach in my life. I do find it easier said than done at times but I will say it resides in my spirit and provides clear intention and perspective. The key is in consistent application in my daily practice.
As a teacher/coach/educator it is my goal/purpose to help people discover their own path. I understand and do realize that people who ‘hire’ me for my services are seeking my education and expertise to inform, advise, educate, formulate, inspire, encourage, support, etc. them toward their goal/path. This is humbling to say the least and at the same time motivating and inspiring. And through it all I realize that I am in a position of influence and power and I do not want to every take advantage of this position. Therefore this verse is an underlying philosophy in my business and life!
So, in my life I am ever able to in the eyes of the beholder achieve this ‘When the Master governs, the people are hardly aware that he exists.” I will be humbled and with great humility and gratitude accept such a compliment.