The Master Manager

Reflections on Chapter 68 of the Tao Te Ching:

Mountain Climbing

Mountain Climbing

The skillful warrior does not get violent.
The excellent fighter does not lose her temper.
The champion does not compete.
A good manager places herself below her people.

This is known as harmonious virtue.
This is known as managing to people’s strengths.
This is known as heavenly living,
the ancient way of perfection.

 I say the best manager is the one who lets me do my job.

I work in an office. My boss lives about a thousand miles away from me. He’s a good boss. He trusts me and he notices when I do good stuff. That is all you need to do as a manager. He works hard and is always ready to lend a hand if I need it. As a result, I am cool with working hard for him and our team. (My team is great, too.)

It’s really simple. 

People always think they have to DO something to make things happen. Let’s just think about that for a moment. If someone asks you to do something and they think that they need to intervene, how do you feel about that? Kinda crappy, right? Like maybe they don’t trust you or something? I hate it when people stand over my shoulder. What comes across is arrogance.

Trust people.

OK, I am a parent. I know this one! Ha. The first chapter in the manual on taking care of children actually says to trust your kids, but we don’t listen! lol… We have ways we want them to behave and we watch them and try and help them and it really just doesn’t work. This year, my daughter is in middle school. She is doing so great. Every time I check on her to see how she is doing, I feel almost a little silly that I even check on her because she just has it handled.

So lose all the competition.

There is no need to compare ourselves to others. There are millions and millions of people out there. Everyone has talents. What are yours? When you are really confident in what your talents are, you don’t care about the competition. You just do your thing. That is the natural way.



  1. Hi Amy,

    This is perfect for me today. I’m starting to publicize my books, getting my backlist onto Kindle. I have to remember that it’s not a race, and that every other author is my friend, NOT the competition! The last time, when my books were in print, I would feel awful when I went in a bookstore and saw someone else’s book doing really well.

    Older and mellower, now I just get excited for their success, and know that mine is coming too. Merging the principles of the Law of Attraction and Taoism has brought me to a place of contentment that I wouldn’t have believed possible a few years ago. Woohoo!

    Thank you for your beautiful and insightful blog!

    Carole Remy recently posted…Getting StartedMy Profile

    • Thanks, Carole. I think that all of us oscillate between our perfect self and our not-so-perfect self! lol… When we are our perfect self, we sometimes get caught up in how delightful it is and this sometimes puts us right back down to our not-so-perfect self, doesn’t it? It is like driving through the hills – up and down, up and down we go! If we could only remember that we are on a ride and that the ups and downs are a natural part of our ride, we might find it easier to deal with our failures and our successes more easily. lol…

  2. Boy have I learned that lesson with my own children. With my son who has autism I was what you could call his Control Manager most of his life. I felt that the only way he would have whatever it was he might need was if I controlled everything and made it happen. Was I WRONG! It took me many years to learn that. These last few years I have learned to let go big time and allow the natural process of what he needs to unfold. How liberating it is for me and I cannot imagine how it must feel for him. We are both so much happier.

    Recently a discussion I was having with my adult daughter, where I was questioning something about her life that I wanted to know and before I knew it I found myself laughing because the focus of the discussion had come right back to face me and the questions were about myself and not her at all. It’s clear that what I see in my children and their lives is actually a pretty clear reflection of myself in my own life and what needs to be worked on.

    As a mother I am learning to back off and allow my children to be the managers of their own lives.
    Suzanne McRae recently posted…Surrendering Into the Energy of 2013My Profile

    • That is so beautiful, Suzanne. I think, as parents, we all do that. It is the human condition. Here is where our failure offers us a very sweet lesson when we see our children break free of our hold and swim off on their own to do great things in the world that have nothing to do with us. This morning, my daughter was trying to open a jar and was struggling with it. She really wanted me to take it and just do it for her. It was so tempting to do that as I watched her struggle, but I held back. I told her that she needed to get her weight into it and get it handled. Eventually she got it. I don’t know that my little lessons in self-care are really helping her or not. She seemed pretty annoyed in the end, which only indicates to me that she has had way too many of us helping her along instead of letting her just do what needs to be done. It’s pretty much one or the other thing as a parent. Do we help them or let them do it? Each day we are offered many chances to decide. It’s a fine line. If we don’t intervene at all, we may be neglectful. If we intervene too much, we may inhibit their growth. We have to just decide in that moment and then move on. Forgive and forget and love them.

      We have a saying in our family. One person says, “What am I going to do with you?” The other says, “Love me, hug me, squeeze me.” It pretty much works every time.

  3. Great advice Amy as always.

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