Lao-Tzu Vs Machiavelli

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Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli are much more similar than researchers think. They both have a very strong idea of the way people should lead. Lao-Tzu thinks a leader should be respected otherwise the people will not follow the rules. Machiavelli believes that its people should fear a leader. This is key to being able to control the state and the people. However, Linda Thorton, a leadership instructor at the University of Richmond, believes that “the time is right the make ethical leadership a central theme during leadership conversations and in leadership development programs” (Thorton). This can make leaders even more similar, however they goal of government an still vary. Some people believe that the main purpose of government is the lead the…show more content…
Machiavelli believes that the obligations of a leader are to control the people. Lao-Tzu thinks that they need to establish a relationship with the people. Lao-Tzu says, “Next best is a leader who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised. If you don’t trust people, you make them untrustworthy” (Lao-Tzu 20). Both believe that their obligations are crucial for the government to function. Vince Molinaro Ph.D., is a keynote speaker and New York Times Best Selling author of The Leadership Contract. “When people first take on leadership roles, nobody teaches them that leadership is an obligation…They have either forgotten or were never aware of the obligations that come with being a leader.” (Molinaro). If both leaders stick with their obligations then the government with function seamlessly. They realize the people need consistency and it is their obligation to give it to…show more content…
There are many types of leadership that could be considered the right way to govern. Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli both have personal ideas of how states should be run. Samuel Roberts studies ethical leadership and Walter Fluker is the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership. “Walter Fluker contends that many current theories of leadership are impoverished because they lack a clear focus on spirituality and ethics.” (Roberts). If the leaders have a clear focus on their personal type of leadership then they will be successful. Ethics can be individualized for each person which gives room for many different leadership styles. In Machiavelli’s, The Qualities of the Prince, he says, “Whether it is better to be loved than to be feared, or the contrary. I reply that one should like to be both one and the other; but since it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved” (Machiavelli 41). He uses the word safer to suggest that it is better to control the people than to let them have too much freedom. For Machiavelli, his ethics consist of protecting his people. In Lao-Tzu’s case, he would do anything to keep his people

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