Confucius on Leadership


John Adair, the author of the book tells us the importance of leadership, the types of leadership and the necessities of leadership by using the Confucian philosophy. The book can definitely help you become a better leader. Not only the author refers to the Confucius often, he illustrates some examples by using the quotes and stories of famous leaders in the world. He tells that the leadership theory used in the modern world today has been already used by Confucius and in fact originated from him some 2600 years ago. Confucius has not written any books however his followers have saved his sayings. Confucius is considered the teacher on leadership. The book with the Confucius’ sayings and analects will help you develop your confidence and your leadership skills.
The author describes in the book that the leader will require to learn about three things task, team and individual. Task will bring the individuals together to perform as a team to be led by the leader. He describes that the leader using his qualities to achieve the task faster and more efficiently. He explains in a simple language why it is important for the leader to bring the individuals together as a team to achieve the task and reach to the purpose.
The later part of the book is about the qualities of a leader like enthusiasm, integrity, warmth, humility and fairness. Each of these qualities has a chapter and messages conveyed using the quotes of Confucius. He also points the importance of trust quoting Samuel Johnson that it is happier to be some times cheated than not to be trusted. The author also points on the reason what men gains by telling lies through Aristotle quote, the answer too by Aristotle: “When they speak the truth, they are not believed.” Though the authors tells that a leader should remain with his followers by mixing with them, he also points that when occasion demands, the distance should be maintained by both parties between the leader and the team.
The book explains that one is not born a leader but you can become one. The models of career change like the hourglass model has been easily explained in the book. The author also explains why feedback is an important part in leadership where there is a risk that the leader might dismiss the critical ones. A leader has to serve. A leader can learn from any one at any place of time, which is also explained by the fact that one can learn from another person while on walk. One has to be able to learn from it, the good points to copy and bad points to correct.

Kinzang Norbu
Reviewed by on November 4th, 2018