©1997 Dove Audio (P)1997, 2014 Dove Audio, Phoenix Books
If you like this sort of thing, and I do, this is a nice wide-ranging sampler of Analects by Confucius, Tao te Ching, Inner Chapters by Chuang Tzu, Art of War by Sun Tzu, and a few similar sources I hadn't previously read. I find it very soothing and I get into a creative thinking "zone" when taking my long walks and listening to these loose and poetic parables and aphorisms, and imagining how they might fit with my world and time and thinking and experiences. It is a nice decompression and "unwind" mentally from the business and history tomes I am otherwise gobbling up. It is wide-ranging: there is a lot of basic and classical ethical thinking; there was an interesting bit of proto-imperialist thinking, a very stirring explanation of capitalist-style incentives (long before Adam Smith's day), and some very Machiavellian war planning thinking (pointers for using and expending spies, anyone?). Imaginatively, it is easy and fun for me to link bits of it to my own experience. But there is very little real effort at connecting dots to something actionable in a modern boardroom. I guess that is left to the mind of the beholder.
About the middle.
Quotes from Chuang Tzu.
Many individual quotes.
This consists of numerous passages from classical Chinese philosophers. They are excellent quotes, and, given the lack of recordings of some of these classics it is valuable to have them on CD.
However, the title is misleading. I don't see that these quotes were chosen particularly for the boardroom, or for executives. There is at least as much focus on general cosmology (about which I am more interested than politics mystelf). There are numerous quotes in Confucius that would direcly applicable to ruling a country or a town, but the sample of quotes no more focuses on these than on any other aspect of Confucius. Similarly, Lao Tzu has a whole political aspects that was commented on by the legalist Han Fei, but these quotes relating to politics are no more frequent in the selections than any other cosmological, mystical or psychological quotes or Lao Tzu.
The quotes are fine and profound, but they seem selected more or less at random, and not with a focus on managment or the role of the executive. Perhaps the title was added after the fact to sell the CD.
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