Leadership and values

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Leadership and values
David Dickens, Director, South Africa

We need to hold fast to a defined set of values - Not just any values those that can be seen as fair by all

“Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working with the world without being affected by the world, carrying out tasks without being obstructed by tasks. By deep knowledge of principle, one can change disturbance into order, change danger into safety, change destruction into survival, change calamity into fortune. By strong action on the Way, one can bring the body to the realm of longevity, bring the mind to the sphere of mystery, bring the world to great peace, and bring tasks to fulfilment.” This extract was placed within Thomas Cleary’s translated writing of The art of war, but is found in the origional Book of Balance and Harmony. Cleary, (1988) In researching leadership, spiritual and emotional intellegence, this passage best encapsulates, the depth and complexity of all three disciplines. It also questions our constructs and established ideas of our world and the environment and how we all connect to it and draw from it. This was described by Taoists knowledge and practiced by ancient warriors and leaders. Today these principles still ring true, and apply to leaders and leadership. Followers expect a “super human” form of “knowing” and the correct action by the leaders they elect, followers expect their leaders to be pre-emtive and guide them through tough decisions, the kind that they fear and dredd. But leadership through the ages has evolved and become more complex into todays world where race, gender, religion, ethics and environmental responsibility become part of the leadership balance. Gardener (1990) when explaining leadership and it’s challenges, says that the problem today is that large numbers of people have torn lose from whatever cultural, religiuos or philisophical roots they may have known. Others have never known such roots. Variuos religiuos and secular philosophies continue to differ amongst themselves on the questions of values.

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