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May 23rd
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The Art of Leadership

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A manager was deeply troubled by the HR issues, where he couldn't reach his senior management and couldn't motivate the people who work for him. He felt really helpless. Master Cheng Yen advised him, as a manager, apart from being mindful in your profession, you have to work on the hearts of the people too. You have to use wisdom to break the barriers between others and yourself.

For your direct reports, you must humble yourself, open your hearts to accept and understand them. Keeping an arrogant stance from a tall position, which you demand everyone to listen to your opinions, and direct people around with authority do not work in the current society. When it comes to your senior management, you should give them your care and understanding - an understanding that stems from respect, which will lead to caring. Only then can you win the hearts of the people.

"If you cannot lead the hearts of the people, you cannot expect things to be accomplished. A leader must have the courage of a general. This courage is not about inflating yourself, but being brave enough to humble yourself bravely." Master reminded us, with a heart to serve in Tzu Chi, we shouldn't let projects or work stall just because we don't like working with certain people.

"When you are truly committed to do something, even if someone doesn't tell me to do it, I will take the initiative to do it on my own, this is the courage to shoulder responsibilities! Don't wait until someone notify you to do something. Take the initiative to follow up, such a driven attitude is the spirit of volunteerism. This is not like the other professionals, who only work as a job and quit whenever they don't feel like doing it anymore."

Just like driving on the highway, speeding doesn't necessarily mean you will crash, it depends on your driving skills! To go on a high speed, you must do so with well-rounded wisdom that doesn't offend or disrupt. "Since you are the manager, you must fully comprehend the four missions in Tzu Chi to be fully in control. I hope that you will be more mindful in understanding the human nature, humble yourself with a sincere attitude to complete your mission."


Master Cheng Yen spoke on May 28, 1997
Excerpt from 1997 Summer Issue of Master's Footsteps

Translated by Huiying Chin
Edited by Kristofor Fan