Tang Dynasty Legacy Leadership Values

In Indonesia, everyone knows that our fellow Indonesians born Chinese are prominent business practitioners, and amazingly they have the same reputation all around the world. According to Cheng Zhu, author of the chapter of "Chinese Sheng Yi : Reinterpreting Challenges for Leaders" in the ASTD Leadership Handbook, the ability of the Chinese leaders to extend and combine viewpoint derived from the three leadership values of Tang dynasty legacy.

1. The first value: Reframe. The two Chinese characters for business, sheng yi, meaning "finding a new meaning". According to some CEOs interviewed by Cheng, a business started by looking on what the business really means and how the business can be transformed. These leaders constantly asked in the context of reframe with questions like "How do I see this business differently?" and "What are the things that blocking my view?". These questions help to clarify their passions, redefine strength and find new business approach.

2. The second value: Transcend which in this case means the ability to receive cycles of yin and yang or positive and negative poles of their company. The leaders will seek lessons from history and the experiences of others. Slightly similar to the concept of ikhlas (altruistic) and nrimo (acceptance) in Javanese, the transcend values recommend leaders not to easily satisfied with the situation nor desperate in a tough condition. Real leaders are the ones who are able to go beyond boundaries by building a strong mentality to accept and not to fight back against two contradictory poles, which are actually two necessary factors in a change.

3. The third value: listen. When a leader tries hard to listen to others, they are indirectly establish or re-establish a relationship of trust and mutual respect, opening space for innovation, encourage or fight for change. Some CEO asks "How big is the gap between the images that I see in the mirror with the perception of me?" and the answer to this question is to hear others. Even some leaders who are met by Cheng are actively seeking gap and wrong perceptions about them and they are not ignoring it.

Tang Taizong Emperor of Tang Dynasty, one of the most respected leaders once said, "With a bronze mirror, someone can see whether he/she was dressed appropriately, with a history as a mirror, someone can understand the rise and fall of a nation, by making a man as a mirror, someone can see if he/she was right or wrong".

Nearly 14 centuries ago Tang has formulated three values that need to be considered by a leader in driving change. By practicing reframing, transcend and listen we as leaders are expected to turn challenges into opportunity and success as worldwide Chinese business practitioners. (Source: http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/24/china-america-business-lessons-leadership-managing-ccl.html )

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