We have a number of amazing leadership guru’s from history including Confucius, Aristotle and Gandhi. What can we learn from them? Starting with Confucius – the great Chinese Emperor. Confucian social philosophy was based primarily on the principle of “ren” or “loving other” whilst at the same time exercising self-discipline. His golden rule principle was “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.” Added to this, he believed that leaders needed to exercise self-discipline in order to remain humble. Humble is a great quality in leaders, and those who follow this principle are more approachable to their followers. Moreover Confucius was known for his compassion. He defined compassion as having three components: empathy for understanding the feelings of others; caring for the other person; willingness to act in response to the other person’s feelings. Confucius left a lasting mark as he taught people to live with integrity. Even today there are Confucian Institutes in Universities all over the world.
How can we relate to this today in the contemporary business environment? We can learn to have compassion through our leadership style by using emotional intelligence. We can become resonant leaders who use their EI dimensions including self-awareness; self-management; relationship management and social awareness. We can create a positive environment where these principles are cultivated. What we need are more leaders who operate in the positive with most importantly empathy and integrity.