John Ellerton: Easter

English: John Ellerton (1826-1893)

English: John Ellerton (1826-1893) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, a fuller life; take it to the dear grave-side and say there the two words “Jesus lives!” and find in them the secret of calm expectation, the hope of eternal reunion.
John Ellerton

 

Jewish proverb: Wisdom

Lost Wisdom

Lost Wisdom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Do not be wise in words – be wise in deeds.”

Jewish proverb

 

Albert Einstein: Ethical behaviour

English: German-born theoretical physicist Alb...

English: German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

Albert Einstein

Pope Benedict XVI: Christianity

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Many people perceive Christianity as something institutional — rather than as an encounter with Christ — which explains why they don’t see it as a source of joy.”
Pope Benedict XVI, May 2004

 

Charles Edward Montague: Rapture

Echoes (The Rapture album)

Echoes (The Rapture album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie. ”

Origen Adamantius: Jesus and the multitudes

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When Jesus then is with the multitudes, He is not in His house, for the multitudes are outside of the house, and it is an act which springs from His love of men to leave the house and to go away to those who are not able to come to Him. ”
Origen Adamantius

Swami Vivekananda: Self-belief and God

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: On Being)

 

“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself. ”
Swami Vivekananda

 

 

Pope Benedict XVI: Almsgiving

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy: rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interior conversion to love of God and neighbor, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who, dying on the cross, gave His entire self for us. ” –Pope Benedict XVI

 

Pope Benedict XVI: Lent

“The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.” –Pope Benedict XVI

 

 

Pope Benedictus XVI

Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John E. Hines: Preaching

English: Bishop John E. Hines - Founder of Sem...

English: Bishop John E. Hines – Founder of Seminary of the Southwest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Preaching is effective as long as the preacher expects something to happen-not because of the sermon, not even because of the preacher, but because of God. ”

Thomas Carlyle: Judgment

Thomas Carlyle, 1870

Thomas Carlyle, 1870 (Photo credit: Penn State Special Collections Library)

“Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice; but only accident here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death. ”

Ephesians Bible: Wherefore…

Illuminated Manuscript, The Rochester Bible, W...

Illuminated Manuscript, The Rochester Bible, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.18, fol.199r (Photo credit: Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts)

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another.”
Ephesians Bible

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Words

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. –Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864).

Lao-Tsu: The Tao of the Software Architect

Architects - Hovefestivalen 2011

Architects – Hovefestivalen 2011 (Photo credit: NRK P3)

This is a very liberal reading of Lao-Tsu’s Tao Te Ching for the use of software architects, based on various French and English translations. The numbers refer to the original tablets, shown at right.

The architect observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky. (12)

The architect doesn’t talk, she acts.
When this is done,
the team says, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!” (17)

When a great architect leads, the team
is hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst, one who is despised. (17)

A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets her intuition
lead her wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed herself of concepts
and keeps her mind open to what is.
Thus the architect is available to everyone
and rejects no one.
She is ready to use all situations
and does not waste anything.
This is called embodying the light. (27)

If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.
If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.
If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.
This is called the subtle perception
of the way things are.
The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.
Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results. (36)

When the process is lost, there is good practice.
When good practice is lost, there are rules.
When rules are lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the beginning of chaos. (38)

The architect concerns himself
with the depth and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower. (38)

The architect allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the design speak for itself. (45)

The architect gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to leave,
and he has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions, no resistance in his mind.
He holds nothing back from the project,
therefore is ready for departure,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work. (50)

The great way is easy,
yet programmers prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance.
Remain centered within the design. (53)

The architect’s power is like this.
She lets all things come and go
effortlessly, without desire.
She never expects results;
thus she is never disappointed.
She is never disappointed;
thus her spirit never grows old. (55)

Those who know don’t talk.
Those who talk don’t know. (56)

Alternate:

Those who do not have a clue are still debating about the process.
Those who know just do it. (56)

The architect is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose his will.
He is pointed but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes. (58)

If you want to be a great leader,
stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts and
the team will govern itself.
The more prohibitions you have,
the less disciplined the team will be.
The more you coerce,
the less secure the team will be.
The more external help you call,
the less self-reliant the team will be. (57)

The TAO of the Software Architect.

Corrie Ten Boom: Worry

Corrie ten Boom, "The Hiding Place"

Corrie ten Boom, “The Hiding Place” (Photo credit: Corrie ten Boom Museum)

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. ”
Corrie Ten Boom

Samuel Johnson: Belief and disbelief

Portrait of Samuel Johnson commissioned for He...

Portrait of Samuel Johnson commissioned for Henry Thrale’s Streatham Park gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us. ”
Samuel Johnson

Rembrandt and Leadership

The Head of Christ painting by Warner Sallman,...

The Head of Christ painting by Warner Sallman, 1941. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to being a great painting, Rembrandt’s “Head of Christ,” reveals two traits that great leaders and great artists share: the willingness to persist past the initial round of success and failure in life, and the courage to find a true mission and serve it.

Rembrandt painted the “Head of Christ” in about 1649, in the middle of the most prolific and also the most brutal period of his life. From 1635 to 1660, he endured the death of his wife and three sons, and a long slow descent from wealth to poverty. But as his sufferings became greater, so did his paintings. The works of Rembrandt’s final quarter century, made in terrible adversity, are universally considered the best of his career.

Rembrandt’s genius came only with maturity. It was not until he was in his late 30s that he even started painting in a style different from his peers. He had long been known as the most technically skilled painter of his generation, but it was only after being seasoned by success and (perhaps more important) failure that his full talent emerged. When he painted the “Head of Christ,” Rembrandt was forty-three, already an old man by the standards of the 1600s. Had he allowed himself to coast on his previous success, or be crippled by his private suffering, he would never have had the chance to do his best work.

Like great artists, great leaders change and mature over time. As students of leadership, we find that the most powerful lessons come from mature leaders. They have learned how to cope with both failure and success. Their experience with employees is long and deep. And they have at some point understood that no leader emerges from youth with a perfect record.

The “Head of Christ” embodies another quality great leaders and great artists share: authenticity. Rather than depict Jesus with an idealized northern European face, as his contemporaries did, Rembrandt found a young Sephardic Jew from an Amsterdam ghetto and used him as a model.

Truly effective leadership is built on this kind of authenticity. If you strive only for commercial success, you are not striving for enough. In fact, you are probably holding yourself back.

Charles Templeton: Christianity

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christianity does not remove you from the world and its problems; it makes you fit to live in it, triumphantly and usefully. ”