Here is a paradox: even though the single principle of how everything happens is great, those who follow the principle know that they are ordinary.
Great egocentricity does not make a person great. A greater source of life is the common ground of all creation rather than any exalted isolation.
The three qualities of a leader are:
1. Compassion for all creatures,
2. Material simplicity or frugality, and
3. A sense of equality or modesty.
A compassionate person acts on behalf of everyone’s right to live. Material simplicity gives one in abundance the chance to share. A sense of equality is, paradoxically, one’s true greatness.
“Paradox: By being selfless, the leader enhances self.” – Lao Tzu
It’s a mistake to consider a person focused on self-interest as either caring or courageous. It’s a mistake to rationalise that excessive consumption contributes to the well-being of others by giving them employment. It’s a mistake to imagine that a person who acts in arrogance or in a superior way is, in fact, a genuinely superior person.
These are all egocentric behaviours. They isolate a person from the common ground of existence. They produce rigidity and death.
On the other hand, compassion, sharing, and equality sustain life. This is because we are all one when we care for each other. We enhance the harmonious energy of the whole. And, that is life.
Source: The Tao of Leadership – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider