Around three thousand years ago, there was a book called Zhou Yi. Zhou Yi indicated the rules of nature and describe how the nature runs. In Zhou Yi, the empire of Zhou Density, said there are four factors on how the nature operates.
The four factors are: Given, Fluent, Harmonious and Integrity. Given indicated the nature gives the beginning of all living creatures. And nature let all creatures be connected with each other fluently without block. The whole living creatures could live under harmonious environment. So that the whole living creature could have the proper position and do what they should do.
The four factors of nature were just beginning of the book of Zhou Yi. What I learnt from the one sentence of Zhou Yi is for creative leadership. Like Ray Dalio mentioned in his book 「Principles」:
All the laws of reality were given to us by nature. Man didn’t create these laws, but by understanding them we can use them to foster our own evolution and achieve our goals.
What a good leader can learn from the four factors of natures?
Factor one: Given is the foundation of leading.
The given is the absolute mercy from the deep heart of a person. I saw so many so called “leaders” who just want to have the best performance to flaunt to their boss. What they final have few years later? They just has been put into a inessential position in the company and complain how injustice the life is!
Why the bees can have honey to feed themselves? Because they spread pollen for the flowers. Why the redwood can reach the sky? Because their defoliation can make the soil rich. Why the clown fish can be protected by sea flower? Because they help sea flowers clean body.
Given is the basic principle of nature.The leader need to consider to contribute to the team benefits and help team member enhance competitive advantages. It is the first step to have the team thrive not just survive. On the other hand, the good leader need to set up the goal of the team to follow the company’s vision. Focus on company vision will lead team’s contribution effectively to company development. It make sure that the team’s contribution to be integrated into company development. It is very important for high performance team to thrive in future.
Factor two: Make things to run fluently
A good leader will never be a block one way fo team success. Someone may use the internal conflicting of team for maximum controlling on whole team members. They use information asymmetry to suppress the team member who has different ideas from leader. It is not consistent with rule of giving to all living creatures.
The nature never block the living creatures. The nature lead the water to go to the grass, lead the bird to find out food, lead the vines to reach the sunshine. The nature unblock things happening, but make things happen fluently.
The main obligation of good leader is to understand the action system of each person in the team. You have to understand what they want, what they like and what they can offer. You shall always make team get close well. When they are angry, you calm them down; When they feel upset, you cheer them up; When they cheer up, you just watch them and let them cheer.
For team performance, the best way is to utilize your team’s competitive advantage to satisfy the demand of customers. You do not need perfectly satisfy the demand, but you need to make the system of satisfying demand run smoothly. The team can get things done properly is the first success of a team.
Factor three: Harmonious comes from peaceful
The leadership is basically comes from heart force. Leader influence team from top to down. You shall define the atmosphere of team by your value. Not only to make sure the things happen fluently, but also to be peaceful to challenges. It is always hard for one person. What you have to do is to balance your mind to keep calm. You looks like a father. You can’t yowl to your children for each mistake they made. The gentle steadiness is the best status for a father, for a leader as well.
Like Mr. Roy Dalio mentioned in his book, in contrast with animals, most people struggle to reconcile their emotions and their instincts (which come from the animal parts of their brains) with their reasoning (which comes from parts of the brain more developed in humans). This struggle causes people to confuse what they want to be true with what actually is true.
So the good leader can observe the reality from the top and accept it. With the vision of future success, the good leader can use the feedback from reality to adjust the team system including the work process / functions and responsibilities for the reality. There is no struggling between emotion and logic to the excellent leaders in deed.
Factor four: Integrity is the wisdom of leading
Like I mentioned in my previous article, the good leader need to be honesty without any delusion. It require the leader to be transparent to their heart.
Do not be self-deceptive. Someone does not want to admit that they failed on some decisions. So he finds out so many excuses to cover what they failed. It is not helpful for the enhancement of team capacity. Believe it or not, only the failure is the chance for team to grow. Pain will make your think deeply. Good leader need to embrace the loose, face it directly.
Like the nature making everything in the proper position, integrity and honesty lead leader’s heart on the right position without delusion and fear to correct himself. So that the bad things will not happen again and familiar pain will disappear forever.