[Currently, I’m reading Chinghua Tang’s The Ruler’s Guide about the success of the timeless secret of Tang Taizong (598-649), China’s greatest emperor. From each short excerpts, I explain about the leadership]
Shortly after Tang Taizong ascended the throne of China empire, he said to Minister Xiao Yu, “I have been fond of archery since I was a boy. I thought I knew everything about bows. A few days ago I received a dozen bows. When I showed them to a bow maker, he told me they were not good bows. I asked why. He said, ‘Because the heart of the wood is not straight, so the veins are slanted. Although the bows are strong, they cannot shoot straight.’
“Then I realized even though I’ve been using bows for so many years I really don’t know their secret. I must know even less about governing a county.”
Richard: This realization prompted him to not only hold daily meetings with cabinet ministers but “reach out frequently to junior officials as well in order to learn more about what was going on in the country.” By knowing how much you don’t know as a leader, you open the doors for more knowledge and wisdom.
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