Discover who you are. Learn to sense the world around you directly, and contemplate your impressions deeply. Do not rely on ideologies, because to do so will rob your life of meaning and make you unfit to lead. Cultivate and make trustworthy your intuition, because a leader who is not intuitive cannot predict change. Build up your personal power through your awareness and knowledge of the physical laws as they operate both in the universe and in the minds of others —then use that power to direct events, without resorting to force—.
How is this done?
Use attitude instead of action, and lead others by guiding rather than ruling. Manage people by letting them act on you, and not the other way around. In this way, your subjects will develop a sense of self-government, and you, as their guide, will be rewarded with their loyalty and cooperation.
Learn to achieve your ends without means, by cultivating a strong vision of the way things must naturally resolve themselves. Practice simplicity. Continue to grow.
—Lao Tzu [Extract from the book The Tao of Power: Lao Tzu’s Classic Guide to Leadership, Influence, and Excellence]