The Art of Leadership: Contents
What is leadership? Why is this important? How do you lead successfully? The Art of Leadership provides timeless answers to these eternal questions. It is a modern reading of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching — a guide for leaders in ancient China. “Purpose is a surer path to productivity than pressure. Pressure keeps knocking you off the path. Purpose keeps bringing you back onto the path” Kent Beck
Contents: A very short summary of all parts (2 min read)
Introduction: How to make a difference (3 min read)
Sections 1–6: Purpose (6 min read)
Guide to the unknown. Beyond labels. Beyond pressure and control. Purpose. Bellows. The valley spirit.
Sections 7–13: Attending to Needs (5 min read)
Attending to people’s needs. Be like water. Accomplish and withdraw. Respectful intent. Emptiness brings usefulness. Belly over eyes. Beyond yourself.
Sections 14–19: We Did It Ourselves (5 min read)
Beyond grasping. Beyond knowing. Return to the roots. We did it ourselves. Without purpose. Plain silk and uncarved wood.
Sections 20–23: Grasping the Whole (5 min read)
Dare to unlearn. Great effectiveness. Grasping the whole. Flow with purpose.
Sections 24–30: Self-Organisation (7 min read)
Following purpose. Self-organisation. Balancing. Self-knowledge. Uncarved wood. Intent to control will fail. Avoiding pressure and control.
Sections 31–37: Knowing Yourself (5 min read)
A great victory is a funeral. Creeks and streams. Knowing yourself. Flow. A great vision. Subtle illumination. Transformed.
Sections 38–43: Effectiveness (7 min read)
Effectiveness. Wholeness. Returning. Square without corners. Shady and sunny. Water and stone.
Sections 44–49: What is Enough? (5 min read)
Knowing what is enough. Flawed perfection. Knowing that enough is enough. Succeed without pressure and control. Unlearning. Integrity is compassion and trust.
Sections 50–55: Integrity (5 min read)
Truly set on living. Integrity. Back to the beginning. Thieves’ purpose. Well planted, well embraced. The baby’s integrity.
Sections 56–61: Living with Change (6 min read)
The original unity. Conditions for self-organisation. Living with change. Living sparingly. Cooking small fish. Lying low.
Sections 62–66: Serving Without Interference (6 min read)
True reward, true giving. Serve without interference. Minor changes, major consequences. Reaching great flow. Going lower.
Sections 67–73: Effectiveness Without Contending (5 min read)
Compassion, frugality, modesty. Effectiveness without contending. Deploying without capabilities. Unprincipled knowing. To think you know. Feeling safe. Brave caution.
Sections 74–81: Balancing (8 min read)
Fearing death. Respecting life. Real strength. Balance. The softest succeeds. Harmonising hatred. Freedom. Learning beyond principles.
Glossary: Explanations of key terms (24 min read)
Acknowledgements: Standing on the shoulders of giants (3 min read)
Sources: Where to learn more (4 min read)