Living respectfully is an essential leadership principle much needed today. Psychologists have called it the key to personal power. Psychologist Jerry Lynch, who coaches Olympic athletes, says that "your real power as a person comes when you relate to others from your heart rather than your head."
Our energies contract when we concentrate on ourselves and the impression we're making. The Tao tells us to reverse this direction, to let our energies flow out from our hearts in greater respect and appreciation for the people around us.
The Tao tells us:
Tao leaders lives close to nature.
Their actions flow from the heart.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8
Instead of self-consciously posing and performing, Tao leaders concentrate on others. Remember this lesson in your interactions. Take time to listen, observe, and discover the spark of greatness in the people you know. As a Tao leader, you can inspire others by making that spark come alive.
How can you use the power of respect in your life today?
An earlier version of this lesson appeared in Dreher, D. (1996). The Tao of Personal Leadership.New York, NY: HarperCollins.