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Covert leadership

The big picture

In the sixth century BC, the Chinese philosophical tract, the Tao Te Ching, was published. Although it is attributed to a single author, Lao Tzu, the author’s name translates as ‘old man’ or ‘old master’ and the likelihood is that it was the work of several people. Among its many themes are leadership and governance and its ancient principles can still be applied to modern-day leadership. Its 80 or so chapters are written in cryptic language and are still being interpreted.

Some of the passages are splendid introductions to covert leadership – the art of leading without appearing to lead:*

The wise person nourishes everything but does not claim it as his own,Works but doesn’t take credit for itLeads but doesn’t ...

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