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The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age Paperback – 19 Apr 1986

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Green Dragon Publishing Group (19 April 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0893340790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0893340797
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Heider is a group leader and teacher of group leaders. He has studied and helped direct long-term programs at Esalen Institute, taught at the Menninger Foundation School of Psychiatry, served as staff psychologist at the Veterans Admin. Hospital.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lao Tzu's book is very old and represents the early Taoist thinking which was part of what led to Zen Buddhism. It has been translated by dozens of different people and this version by John Heider is my favourite.
It's a source of timeless learning about leadership and how to deal with other people in an enlightened way. It's presented in a way which is more accessible to westerners than some of the more "poetic" interpretations but you have to be in the right frame of mind to take the learning on board.
It's a great source of ideas for dipping into and it contains some real insight into human beings and organisations.
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Format: Paperback
This book has Taoist outlooks applied to various aspects associated with leadership. The format of the book sees it written in short,concise and poetic 'Chapters' (rarely more than 1 page each) and this lends itself to people, like myself, who like to dip in and out of subject matter like this. It allows you to read a chapter, leave it for a while and then return once you have worked it round your head. Not the best read in the world but a great book to invoke your own thoughts on the subject being discussed.
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Format: Paperback
An absolutely brilliant translation - well perhaps more of a paraphrasing, but if you like the Tao Te Ching and want to be able to apply these timeless teachings in the modern era this book is for you.

Written in plain English it really explains Taoist philosophy, and later chapters show how to apply the approach in groups.

So it is practical and concrete in our every-day lives as well as giving a generally applicable model for life.
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Format: Paperback
The value and impact of leadership can be measured in many different ways. Two of the most common approaches focus on who a leader is, and, on what a leader achieves. In my opinion, books that focus on authentic, values-driven leadership are part of a tradition that can be traced back to Lao Tzu and his classic, Tao Te Ching, whereas books that focus on high-impact, results-driven leadership are part of a tradition that can be traced back to Sun Tzu and his classic, The Art of War.

As John Heider explains in the Introduction to this volume, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching "is one of China's best loved books of wisdom. It was originally addressed to the sage and to the wise political rulers of the fifth century B.C." Lao Tzu's book is "simple and makes sense. But even more important, is the fact that Tau Te Ching persuasively unites leadership skills and the leader's way of life: our work is our path." Here is my personal favorite among many passages in a work that offers timeless wisdom for each new age:

"Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves."

The wisdom of these observations is relevant to our own age, especially given the unique challenges leaders now face. For example, how to increase and nourish positive and productive employee engagement at all levels and in all areas? How to develop and then sustain a culture of mutual respect and trust between and among everyone involved?

Heider suggests that Lao Tzu focuses on three separate but interdependent topics:

1. Natural law (how things happen)
2.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got my first copy of this book back in the early 90's and I still read it today. In another 20 years, I'll probably still be reading it.

It is a translation of the Tao Te Ching that is practical and thought-provoking for anyone in a management or leadership role. I've lost count of how many times I've replaced in-the-moment harsh and rash decisions with more enlightened ones just by referring to one of the brief chapters here.

The underlying approach to group dynamics is gentle and holistic. It helps you get over the insatiable need for ever-new complex techniques for dealing with people. You don't need them. Dealing with groups is simple if you keep it simple.

One of my favorite quotes: "Of course, the world is full of novelty and adventures. New opportunities come along every day. So what?"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book can be viewed as a kind of New-Age'ism, but if one goes beyond that, it does put a finger on some truths that go beyond anything one can find in the established Western (mainly American) Academic literature on Leadership.
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This is an excellent interpretation of the Tao Te Ching particularly for group leaders. I would suggest reading the version by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English in conjunction with this one
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