Be Confident In Tomorrow
From O’magadh© by Marty Duncan
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     There seems to be a national malaise upon our spirit. We see a climbing death toll in Iraq. We see a stock market that (we are told) reflects a loss of confidence. We see our politicians bickering. We wonder how to get the leadership we desire.
     There are manuals and classes and psychologists and inspirational speakers who try to help the common people to learn the art of leadership. We hope our leaders can exhort the masses to take actions against common perils like poverty and illiteracy. Or the leader may lead by example, hoping some will follow him or her.
      As managers, we are each of us puzzled to say the least. How do we lead? Should we be the big BOSS (whatever that means?) and BOSS is after all, backwards ‘Double SOB? Or should we somehow encourage employees to grow and become an asset for our schools and our companies? It is an ancient question. Lao Tzu’s answer in Tao Te Ching was “One who knows does not speak; one who speaks does not know”. (Verse 128) The Tao Te Ching was written to serve as words of advice for local administrators in the feudal states of China, 2000 BCE.
      When I went to school board meetings, I tried to keep a little sign in front of me that said…’Keep your mouth shut’. The sign’s purpose: to remind me of how much I did not know. It didn’t always work.
     We can lead by direction, I suppose. Or we can lead by committee (Site Based Councils) or we can lead by consensus. Here is verse 22 from the Tao Te Ching (The Way and the Power) by Lao Tzu (the ‘Old Master’):

          Yield and overcome;
          Bend and be straight;
          Empty and be full;
          Wear out and be new;
          Have little and gain;
          Have much and be confused.

          Therefore wise men embrace the one
          And set an example to all.
          Not putting on a display,
          They shine forth.
          Not justifying themselves,
          They are distinguished.
          Not boasting,
          They receive recognition.
          Not bragging,
          They never falter.
          They do not quarrel,
          So no one quarrels with them.
          Therefore the ancients say, ‘Yield and overcome.’
          And all things will come to you.

     In these days of confusion following terrorist attacks, each of us has a duty to support our country and to be the best person one can be. That was Lao Tzu’s advice to the managers in ancient China …’be confident in yourself.’

Be good, wave to a neighbor and cherish your children.

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