17 January 2011

Management According to Confucius - 10 Keys

The best and important parts of a book are usually at the start and at the end. The first five verses of Lun Yu (The Analects, the teaching of Confucius complied by his disciples) are presented below:
Chapter 1 学而 Learning
1 子曰 Confucius says:
  • 1a“学而时习之,不亦说乎?Learning and practicing, is it not a joy?
  • 1b 有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎?Having friends from far away, is it not joyful?
  • 1c 人不知而不愠,不亦君子乎? Not feeling angry when others don’t know about or acknowledge you, it not this a gentleman (wise superior man)?
2 有子曰 YouZi says:
  • 其为人也孝弟,而好犯上者,鲜矣;不好犯上,而好作乱者,未之有也。
    Those that respect parents and friends, they are seldom disrespectful to their superiors. Those that are not disrespectful to their superior and at the same time create troubles, cannot be found.
  • 君子务本,本立而道生。孝弟也者,其为仁之本与!
    Wise men (frequently translated as Superior Men) focus on the development of  basics first. When the basic foundations are strong, moral virtuous character is birthed. Respecting our elders and friends is the basic of love and compassion.
3 子曰 Confucius says:“巧言令色,鲜矣仁!” “smooth, flowery and tricky speech, tempting appearances, are seldom associated with true love and compassion.
4 曾子曰:“吾日三省吾身:为人谋而不忠乎?与朋友交而不信乎?传不习乎?”
Zeng Zi says: “I examine my life daily on three things. Am I faithful in my work? Am I trustworthy with my friends? Am I doing what I am teaching?
5 子曰:“道千乘之国:敬事而信,节用而爱人,使民以时。”
Confucius says: “The ways to govern a big country are: faithful in work and be trustworthy. Controlling my spending(be not wasteful) and loving the people, using the people at the right time (i.e. use them when they are free and not to disturb their farming or other productive activities)

The Management Principles:
  1. Learning and the Joy of Learning.
    Confucius predates Peter Sengge’s Learning Organization by about 2500 years! Yet he has one key thing that is missed out by the Learning Organization proponents, and that is the Joy of learning. Why do people not want to learn? It is because we are ‘educated’ by the society that learning is hard and painful. If one sees learning as fun and joyful, one will be motivated to learn. Walt Disney was the first person that I know to do this well – one mission of his Disney Lard is about learning and fun – the origin of EDUTAINMENT! Read his Disneyland opening speech.
  2. Networking and the Joy of Relationships.
    He had friends from far away. Friendship is joy and precious. It builds one up. Expand your network, even to far away places. With the social media network, it is easy. But Confucius did teach us about how to pick your friends in other part of Lun Yu.
  3. Humility – Don’t be Full of Self.
    We can tell how proud we are by our reaction to others action about us. If we get angry because someone does not recognize or know about us then we are really too proud. It is a warning signal that we could be too full of ourselves. We need to pay attention to others.
  4. Love & Respect is the Foundational Quality of Relationships & Success
    The way to build relationship is by love. The basic of love of respect, respect for those that are our elders, either in age or in position, and respect for one another.  Respect for others is a reflection of our character and quality and not about whether the other person deserving our respect or not. In this world of knowledge and diversity, it is important respect the culture and opinions of others that are different from us. Only through mutual respect, can we truly build harmonious and strong relationship.
  5. Watch-out for the Sweet Talk and Tempting Appearance.
    (Don’t believe in Advertisements and PR’ Spins!)
    Don’t be fooled by external sweet speeches and appearance. Trickery talk and inviting and tempting signals take advantage of us are not true love. They may appear that they have our interests at heart but are just out there to take advantage of us.
  6. Review and Improve Continuously – Integrity in Work, Friends, Self.
    We are to reflect on our lives daily on 3 things:
    1. Commitment to our work – giving our very best.
    2. Integrity and trustworthiness to our friends.
      Did we delivery our promises? Did we do our best for them?
    3. Walking our talk. Did we practice what he taught others?
  7. Manage the Organization by:
    1. Faithfulness and Accountability to our Responsibilities.
    2. Integrity
    3. Spending wisely without waste
    4. Loving people.
    5. Putting the right people at the right job and right time.
      Create opportunities for them and use them wisely. Jim Collin’s bus model “Getting the right people on board and on the right seats”. I just want to add that we must make sure we are heading the right direction.
Lun Yu begins with learning to gain understanding and ended with the warning of the consequences of  ‘not understanding’.

The last verse Chapter 20:3 is
子曰‘不知命、無以為君子也。不知禮、無以立也。不知言、無以知人也’
Confucius said,
  1. “Not understanding the ways of Heaven and one’s destiny, it is impossible to be a wise man (Usually translated as superior man or gentleman).
  2. Not understanding good manners (the protocols to behave and communicate) , it is not possible for person to be successful.
  3. Not understanding the true message behind the speeches, it is impossible to know and evaluate people.
Hence, I will need to add the following points to the 7 points above
  • 8. Develop and Understand your Calling and Mission
    Understand our own personal calling and matching that of the corporation.
  • 9. Understand the Protocols of Communications and have good manners.
  • 10. Know a Person well by his speech and behavior. Not just his speech.
Conclusions:

The ten key words for good management and success are:
  1. Learning with Joy
  2. Networking with Joy of Relationships
  3. Humility and don’t be full of self
  4. Respect & Love – the basic quality for good relationships and success
  5. Watch-out for Sweet Talk and External Appearance.
  6. Review to Improve – Integrity to work, friends and self
  7. Manage your Organization Effectively by Integrity, Accountability, Lean Methodology, Compassion and Put people at the Right Jobs
  8. Know Your Calling and the Organization Mission
  9. Have Good Manners – Understand the Rules of Proper Conduct in Different Settings
  10. Know your Staff & Friends by their speech and behavior,
BVOTECH Copyrighted 2011

See also
  1. Management According to Confucius 2 - 5 Good & 4 Bad
  2. Management According to Confucius 3 – Love & People Centered
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