Can Taoism, a philosophy over 2,000 years old, be applied to 21st Century management issues? This series examines the verses of the Tao Te Ching and attempts to translate them into modern management advice. Today we examine “Enough is Enough”.
As for holding to fullness,
Far better were it to stop in time!
Keep on beating and sharpening a sword,
And the edge cannot be preserved for long.
Fill your house with gold and jade,
And it can no longer be guarded.
Set store by your riches and honour,
And you will only reap a crop of calamities.
Here is the Way of Heaven:
When you have done your work, retire!
Sometimes enough is enough
Know when to stop and enjoy.
Keep on planning and measuring
and your plan will be useless.
Hoard your assets, whatever they may be
And you’ll make yourself a ripe target.
Set yourself up as a “guru” or an “industry leader”
And the world will come gunning for you.
There is a “Middle Way” that leads to success:
Do your work well, and when you have, enjoy it.