19 March 2015

Getting Others to Follow Orders begins with Yourself

Sinology, the Chinese Philosophies and Literature, has much to teach us about human motivation, behavior and management. Here are wisdom from Confucius and Sun Zi.

子曰:「其身正,不令而行;其身不正,雖令不從。」

If you lead a life of righteous behavior, setting the examples for others, then even if you do not give any commands, things will be done and done well by others. However, if you do not behave well, then if you give the orders, the commands will not be followed!

Sun Zi's Art of War has a similar passage:
令素行以教其民, 则民服;
令不素行以教其民, 则民不服;令素行, 与众相得也。
Commands followed by commanders in the normal life, commanders setting the examples, to teach the men to follow, then the men will be persuaded and convinced. Otherwise, the men will be happy to follow the commands. Commands being followed daily by all is the gain of commanders and his men.

Takeaway: 

Lead by your examples. Don't expect others to do things that you don't want to do yourself.

Lim Liat (c) 19 Mar 2015
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