The Tao of value leadership and the power of interdependence

Ping Ping Fu, Caroline Fu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction. The power impulse has two forms: explicit, in leaders; implicit, in their followers. When men willingly follow a leader, they do so with a view to the acquisition of power by the group which he commands, and they feel that his triumphs are theirs. (Russell 1938: 16). The above averment by Bertrand Russell, the recipient of the 1950 Nobel Prize for literature, resonates with the Tao of value leadership. In his Book of Tao (Tao-Te-Ching), Lao-Tze says, “when people speak about a good emperor, they would say: ‘He has done this and he has done that.’ But when they speak of a superior emperor, they would say: ‘We have done it all ourselves’” (Siu 1980: 32). By the Tao of value leadership, we refer to the ultimate realm as well as the most desirable level leadership can reach: the level when leaders and followers share the same values and become truly interdependent and do their best to achieve their goals. In that process, leadership power, like energy in physics (Russell 1938), acts as a special type of force, not as “abilities” (e.g., Etzioni 1961; Pfeffer 1992) or “potential influence” (e.g., French and Raven 1959), enabling the leader to achieve the highest level. Leadership power is “a special form of power,” which consists of two interrelated essentials “motive and resource” (Burns 1979: 12). “Lacking motive, resource diminishes; lacking resource, motive lies idle; lacking either one, power collapses” (Burns 1979: 12).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPower and Interdependence in Organizations
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780511626562
ISBN (Print)9780521878593
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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