Friday, 15 October 2010
Leadership is like water
The best are like water.
Water benefits all things and does not compete with them.
It flows to the lowest level that people disdain.
In this it comes near to the Way
In their dwellings, they love the earth.
In their hearts, they love what is profound.
In their friendship, they love humanity.
In their words, they love sincerity.
In government, they love peace.
In business, they love ability.
In their actions, they love timeliness.
It is because they do not compete
that there is no resentment
From the Dao de Jing which is attributed to Lao-zi (there is a copy here: )
In part, my interpretation of these two stanzas is that true leadership does not compete or even try. The endeavour of a true leader is to be simply present and through that presence help bring forth the achievement of dreams and ambitions for all concerned.
I have quoted this part of the Dao de Jing today as my contribution to World Blog Action day - which is today. The aim of the day this year is to inspire people to take action on the fact that right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted. Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.
You can take action by signing the petition, top right on this blog. You can make a donation to Water Aid or indeed any other charity working in the developing world.
Or if you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where you can just get yourself a glass of clean water easily - do so and drink it slowly. Please savour the knowledge that this is basic human need that all should be able to share. Also, I hope you enjoy this fresh gift from the sky!