Almost always, the answer that is given is leadership, the ability to inspire confidence and support among the men and women on whose competence and commitment performance depends. Yet […]. Yet while we intuitively recognize leaders whenever we meet them, it has never been easy to answer the question: What is leadership?
The essence of leadership cannot be reduced to a series of personal attributes nor confined to a set of particular roles and activities. It is like the challenge of describing a bowl: we can describe a bowl in terms of the clay from which it is made. We have searched for ways to capture the unseen space of leadership. The longer this search went on, the more we found ourselves talking about lessons which one of us first heard as a youth in the temples of Kyung Nam province of Korea. These lessons came from Oriental masters who taught the wisdom of life through parables, and they gave us a fresh understanding of the essence of leadership.
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They provided us with the inspiration and insights we needed to create parables that could capture the unseen space of leadership. The parables that follow show the essential qualities of leadership and the acts that define a leader: the ability to hear what is left unspoken, humility, commitment, the value of looking at reality from many vantage points, the ability to create an organization that draws out the unique strengths of every member.
Back in the third century A. When the prince arrived at the temple, the master sent him alone to the Ming-Li Forest. After one year, the prince was to return to the temple to describe the sound of the forest. Had he not discerned every sound already? For days and nights on end, the young prince sat alone in the forest listening.
But he heard no sounds other than those he had already heard. Then one morning, as the prince sat silently beneath the trees, he started to discern faint sounds unlike those he had ever heard before. The more acutely he listened, the clearer the sounds became.
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The feeling of enlightenment enveloped the boy. The demise of states comes when leaders listen only to superficial words and do not penetrate deeply into the souls of the people to hear their true opinions, feelings, and desires. In the fourth century B. Taken aback by the sad turn of events, Chuang set out to the Han mountain to seek the wisdom of the great master Mu-sun. When the duke arrived at the mountain, he found the great master sitting peacefully on a small rock looking out at the adjoining valley. After the duke had explained his situation to Mu-sun, he waited with bated breath for the great master to speak.
Rather, he smiled softly and gestured to the duke to follow him. Silently they walked until before them lay the Tan Fu River, whose end could not be seen, it was so long and broad. After meditating on the river, Mu-sun set out to build a fire.
When at last it was lit and the flames were aglow, the master had Chuang sit by his side. There they sat for hours on end as the fire burned brilliantly into the night. With the coming of dawn, when the flames no longer danced, Mu-sun pointed to the river. Chuang looked perplexed; he understood now no better than before. Slowly shame enveloped the duke.
It was strong and powerful. Its flames leapt upward as they danced and cried in vainglorious pride. No strong trees nor wild beasts could have matched its mighty force. With ease it could have conquered all that lay in its path. It starts as but a small stream in the distant mountains. Sometimes it flows slowly, sometimes quickly, but always it sails downward, taking the low ground as its course.
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It willingly permeates every crack in the earth and willingly embraces every crevice in the land, so humble is its nature. When we listen to the water, it can scarcely be heard. When we touch it, it can scarcely be felt, so gentle is its nature. Only a handful of ashes. For the fire is so strong, Chuang, that it not only destroys all that lies in its path but eventually falls prey to its own strength and is consumed.
It is not so with the calm and quiet river. For as it was, so it is, so it will always be: forever flowing, growing deeper, broader, ever more powerful as it journeys down to the unfathomable ocean, providing life and sustenance to all. After a moment of silence, Mu-sun turned to the duke. Perhaps the answer that you seek will lie there. No longer proud but embarrassed and uncertain, he looked up with his enlightened eye. Chuang was now blind to all but the sun rising over the river.
The time was the fourth century B. General Li bids me assure you that victory will be ours, the Chin flag will fly forever. He clenched his fists and ordered Lieutenant Yu to dispatch reinforcements and return to the battlefield at once. After the lieutenant had fled, the grand general walked over to the balcony and looked out to the horizon. Meung was perplexed.https://fotatelila.tk
The Three Horizons
How can this be? The grand general looked somberly at Meung but did not answer. Instead, he brought Meung to a large lake behind the palace. When the grand general and Meung were seated on a rock, the general threw a small piece of paper into the water. It did not move but simply floated on one spot. I have meditated on the paper for more than one hour, and your lesson has not enlightened me nor provided the answer to my question. Once again, the general did not respond but had Meung follow him.
They walked until they came to a very narrow, babbling brook. Again the grand general threw a small piece of paper onto the water.
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This time it did not stand still but sailed swiftly along and vanished. Meung, still perplexed, asked the grand general to explain further. He so arrogantly assumes victory that he does not fight. He has stationed himself behind the back line. It is not so with General Su. He is in the front line, side by side with his troops, and he has placed the rear of his regiment next to the river. Then, with our rig design software, we can start the design iteration process. With our experience and from being involved at an early stage, we can not only provide answers, but also help shape the relevant questions that arise to help the client define their goals.
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