Nestled in the tao to ching at number 17 is a bit of a Fur Elise of Taoism but it’s a goodie and it relates so closely to what can make a teacher great, it’s also a provocative model for a leader – I know a few Secondary School Principals who are feared and a few Prime Ministers who are liked!
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”