Machiavelli And Lao Tzu Compare And Contrast Leadership Delgado Community College Essay

708 words - 3 pages

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Machiavelli and Lao-Tzu Compare and contrast leadership
What is leadership? Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Leaders help set direction and have management skills to guide their people. Leaders do this by applying their leadership aspects, such as beliefs, knowledge, and power. Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli both have contrasting focuses and opinions on how a ruler should govern and military action. The American people would elect Lao-Tzu as a leader than Machiavelli because Lao-Tzu wishes to have a pleasant relationship with his people.
According to the Prince, Machiavelli believed that it is better for a prince to be feared rather than loved. He explains, "I reply that one should like to be both loved and feared; but since it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking." Machiavelli argues that if his subjects only love a ruler, they will not follow him when the time requires it, such as when he is headed into war. The obligation felt out of love is not as strong as the duty required by fear. Lao-tzu found that if the people didn't realize that they were being ruled, they would behave naturally. He thought that the job of the ruler was to do what needed to be done, but behind the scenes, and with as little interference in the natural way of things as possible. Lao-tzu states "When the Master governs, the people are hardly aware that he exists. Next best leader who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised. If you don't trust the people, you make them untrustworthy. The master doesn't talk, he acts. When his work is done, the people say amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!"
Machiavelli and Lao-tzu's beliefs differ on how a ruler should govern, as do their ideas on the role of military action. Machiavelli believed a ruler should be in constant military training, whether it be training through activity or preparation of the mind. It is essential for a ruler to know the lay of his land, as well as determine its characteristics so that he can identify similar landscapes in other lands. By doing so, he can learn the reasons for their defeats and victories and can use that knowledge in his military strategies....

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