[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]
Du Zhenglun was the court historian, whose job it was to write down everything the emperor said and did. Taizong said to him, “Before I say anything at my daily audience, I’ll think about how people may react to my words.”
Du Zhenglun replied, “Your Majesty’s words will not only have an impact here and now; they will be reflected upon by future generations too.”
Taizong continued, “If an ordinary man says something wrong, it could bring shame on him. If the ruler has a slip of tongue, the consequences could be disastrous. I will always keep that in mind.”
Richard: In the Bible, Proverbs 18.21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death...” For leaders, their tongues - their spoken words - hold much greater power than others because they have influence, authority, and followers. Leaders may inspire or discouraged. Leaders, remember Proverbs 13:3, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Always keep that in mind.
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