Three Treasures to Hold and Keep

“I have three treasures which I hold and keep. The first is mercy; the second is economy; the third is daring not to be ahead of others. From mercy comes courage; from economy comes generosity; from humility comes leadership” – Lao Tzu


Leadership demonstrates courage through compassion and forgiveness. By watching some leaders you might conclude that an angry, bitter or judgmental attitude is a sign of strength but the opposite is true.

Mercy is not a free pass for bad behavior nor does it mean you ignore accountability. It does mean a willingness to approach each person with an open mind and heart so that when you are presented with the opportunity to forgive or ask for forgiveness, you take the first step toward healing. This is an act of courage and maturity, not capitulation.

Will you be brave enough to go first?

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi


Leadership enables generosity through wise stewardship. Organizations that abuse the resources necessary to sustain long-term success or channel all the prosperity to a privileged few, generally do not become well-respected or highly valued.

One of your first responsibilities as a leader is to do right by the people and resources that are under your care. By using these resources wisely you create more capacity to give back to those who made success possible and provide for the future. Your attitude towards the use of time, money and materials will be a reflection of your attitude towards leadership.

Will you treat these resources as though they were your own?

“Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.” – John Gerzema


Leadership will only fill the space that your ego has surrendered. It is a privilege, not a right.  If your leadership produces pride and arrogance then it isn’t leadership at all. True leadership brings you to humility when you learn you cannot do it alone.

To lead well you must serve and sacrifice. Putting others first does not mean that you put yourself last. Think of it as an orientation. Where is does your attention naturally go? How do you prioritize your time? Your first mission is to the well-being of others in light of the organization’s needs.

Will you “dare not to be ahead of others”?

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.- Tony Robbins”


    1. Thanks, Gary. I love the title. Will definitely check it out.


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