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Personal growth: Confucius on the self-improvement of leaders September 21, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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If we aspire to being a good example to others within our sphere of influence, particularly if we are in a position of potential leadership, we obviously need to develop an overall personal character worthy of receiving respect.

Confucius teaches this lesson in The Analects by referring to the behaviour of rulers and the consequences of their behaviour.

“A ruler who has rectified himself never gives orders, and all goes well. A ruler who has not rectified himself gives orders, and the people never follow them.” (1)

If we look at the idea of rectifying oneself from a personal behaviour point of view, Confucius would have us correct ourselves by working at removing the erroneous or faulty aspects within our patterns of behaviour.

(1) As translated by David Hinton in his book, The Four Chinese Classics.

—Dennis Mellersh