Tao Te Ching Chapter 17

17.太上,下知有之。其次,亲而誉之。其次,畏之。其次,侮之。信不足,焉有不信。悠兮其贵言,功成事遂,百姓皆谓∶我自然。

The supreme rulers are hardly known by their subjects.
The lesser are loved and praised.
The even lesser are feared.
The least are despised.

Those who show no trust will not be trusted.

When things are accomplished, the people (under great leadership) will say:
We did it ourselves.

(reference: http://www.taoistic.com/taoteching-laotzu/taoteching-17.htm)

The takeaway for leaders is that a great leader respects and trusts his people. He makes his vision a shared common goal and he ignites the natural desire to accomplish in his people. Therefore, he is invisible and yet he is felt everywhere. His people are excited and thrilled when they get things done, and yet it is the leader’s vision that is ultimately fulfilled.

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