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Leadership lessons from Confucius, the 9Ps and Confucian pillars of self-discipline

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Abstract

In this paper, by speaking to several Confucian respondents in the three Asian countries of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, the practitioner-academician examines self-discipline and the 9Ps, perceived through the Confucian visor. More specifically, the article offers self-discipline ways and pointers that bolster the various leadership qualities and character of a person, making the person a good leader.

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... If materialism is not great, then it is not a big deal; unfairly though, Confucianism has, in fact, been wrongly attributed to as the cause of corruption. On the contrary, Confucius spoke of restraint, discipline (Low, 2012), self-regulation and being happy in simple ways. " For the lords of the states there are three treasures: land, people and government. ...
... On the other hand even before the exposure to communism, the Chinese have, in fact, long enjoyed a good spiritual tradition. The true nature of happiness is truly that of having a firm spiritual foundation, building the underpinning of chi (energy) is so critical in all our human efforts, struggles and satisfaction (Towler, 2002; also cited in Low, 2012a ...
... Confucians stress on learning, and education is truly important. Through continuous learning and improvement, mind growth is attained (Low, 2012b). A person learns something new every single day and makes his or her life (and even the lives of those around him or her) better. ...
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In this paper, a comparative study is made between materialism and Confucianism. Confucianism, its philosophy and thoughts are examined in relation to materialism; more specifically, Confucian values are emphasized or showcased as compared to materialism and its pursuits. The practitioneracademician highlights the beneficial Confucian values which foster benevolence (ren), promote harmonious relationships and other-centeredness. The paper essentially shows success, the way of Confucius as opposed to materialism, and these Confucian ways, among other things, include being simple, simplicity helps; appreciating simple joys and little pleasures and taking one or two, looking at things positively as well as showing gratitude to Tao, the larger or Universal Heart.
... The personal qualities of self-discipline were highly valued in Confucianism and have been argued to be central to understanding work ethics in China (Low, 2012). We find this too in these posts. ...
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... Overall, leaders, or for that matter, any individual needs to be self-disciplined to continue to be humble especially after they are successful, they must continue to be unassuming or meek otherwise they can turn out or emerge to be proud and arrogant (Low, 2012). ...
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... Moreover, in such a practice, it is worthy to point out that the leaders must lead the way, setting the example (Low, 2010;2008;Low and Theyagu, 2003). For a start, the Chinese saying, "one lamp in a dark place is better than lighting a seven-story pagoda" should be harnessed and strived for both in the rural villages/communes and countryside as well as in the bigger cities. Confucian leaders should also be disciplined (Low, 2012b), and when they set the example, they gain the moral authority; their people would then follow them and their ways. And corruption can, in most ways, be curtailed and checked. ...
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Corruption today threatens the strength and international credibility of the People’s Republic of China’s emerging new economy, and is in fact a main issue for the regime critics. Here, the practitioner-academician is asking and probing, “What make Chinese societies more predisposed or prone to corruption? Is this true? If so, what are the key reasons for this? If not, are there any mitigating reasons for it?” Several suggested solutions to limit the problem of corruption are also put forth and examined. Among other things, he puts forth the argument for the reinstatement of (Confucian leadership, the Rectification of Names and) values so as to minimize or reduce the menace of corruption.
... Moreover, in such a practice, it is worthy to point out that the leaders must lead the way, setting the example (Low, 2010; 2008; Low and Theyagu, 2003). For a start, the Chinese saying, " one lamp in a dark place is better than lighting a seven-story pagoda " should be harnessed and strived for both in the rural villages/communes and countryside as well as in the bigger cities. Confucian leaders should also be disciplined (Low, 2012b), and when they set the example, they gain the moral authority; their people would then follow them and their ways. And corruption can, in most ways, be curtailed and checked. ...
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Corruption today threatens the strength and international credibility of the People’s Republic of China’s emerging new economy, and is in fact a main issue for the regime critics. Here, the practitioner-academician is asking and probing, “What make Chinese societies more predisposed or prone to corruption? Is this true? If so, what are the key reasons for this? If not, are there any mitigating reasons for it?” Several suggested solutions to limit the problem of corruption are also put forth and examined. Among other things, he puts forth the argument for the reinstatement of (Confucian leadership, the Rectification of Names and) values so as to minimize or reduce the menace of corruption.
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Life is certainly better when one lives with confidence. And in this article, the practitioner-academician examines the various ways of increasing one’s confidence via the Old Master’s teachings. This is truly a very interesting proposal and perspective since most people would not have thought of the Old Master as developing and nurturing one’s confidence.Among other things, the key Confucian ways of raising one’s confidence are: learning, thinking positively, living with one’s core Confucian values, developing a calm mind and building relationships, making friends as well as gaining the trust of our friends, family members, business associates and others. Of paramount importance, one is clean and of high integrity, and one undoubtedly stands tall.
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Human performance improvement and performance management are discussed through the visor of Confucian values. In line with the Way of the Tao and filled with Confucian values (‘Heavenly directed’), the Confucian (person) leader, learns and grows in terms of his or her ability or competence, overall character and motivation. There is continuous learning and improvement, and he or she increases his or her ability to become efficient and productive. And not only that, not only being just and with moral courage – in spite of obstacles, he or she takes the challenges; he or she acts and stands tall. This article is an adaptation of Low’s (2013a) ‘Confucian Leadership, D Way’.
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Human performance improvement and performance management are discussed through the visor of Confucian values. In line with the Way of the Tao and filled with Confucian values (‘Heavenly directed’), the Confucian (person) leader, learns and grows in terms of his or her ability or competence, overall character and motivation. There is continuous learning and improvement, and he or she increases his or her ability to become efficient and productive. And not only that, not only being just and with moral courage – in spite of obstacles, he or she takes the challenges; he or she acts and stands tall. This article is an adaptation of Low’s (2013a) ‘Confucian Leadership, D Way’.
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