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Leadership, DaoDeChing and Technology

Currently I'm participating in IBM leadership training. Naturally leadership is a hotly discussed topic during the training (which is an interesting mix of online and physical meeting). I'm a big fan of the DaoDeChing and its advice on leadership ( verse 17 and verse 66):

The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their people,
And their people become unfaithful to them.

When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.

For IT people there is a translation into our reality (part of The Unix Power Classics):

The greatest project leaders hardly make their presence known.
Next best are those who are loved and honoured.
Next come those who are feared.
Next the PHBs*, who are despised.
The demand to be trusted is not enough; indeed, it finds no trust.

The true leader shuts up and shows us the code.

Then when the tasks are accomplished,
  and the project is complete,
  all the contributors say,
  "We did it ourselves."

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* = Pointy Haired Boss

Posted by on 14 October 2009 | Comments (0) | categories: After hours Technology


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