The I Ching’s Message for Better Leadership
Those of us who care about planet Earth and the future of humanity know we need better leadership. The ancient Daoist oracle, the I Ching, offers guidance for coping with change, and this wisdom is still relevant today, after 3,000 years. The I Ching has sixty-four hexagrams, and each is a short story or scenario. Each of the six lines within the hexagram offers an attitude that will bring success or failure. The hexagram to address the question is chosen by tossing yarrow sticks or coins, or the questioner can choose a random hexagram.
I have chosen hexagram seven, which addresses the matter of leadership. This hexagram, and the subject of leadership, will determine whether we can solve the many problems we currently face. The whole issue of leadership has been muddled with politics, both sides arguing with and blaming the other for bad leadership. Hexagram seven can set us on the right path if only we learn its lessons.
The message of hexagram seven is this: To be an effective leader, one should train the members of the group to be mature and responsible. This is the idea of mentorship, which is lacking in many circles. Some leaders want all the power for themselves, but this goes against the Dao. When leaders fail to train younger or new people for leadership, they weaken the system. We need leaders who are generous with their power and who are ready to share responsibility with others.