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Be nae proud unless ye produce

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

The landowners of Celtic Ireland elected their kings based on merit.

Cormac MacAirt—known for peace, prosperity and justice during his reign as a high king in the third century— was reputed to have written books on criminal law and history as well as a famous manual for leaders.

In counseling leaders, Cormac advises moderation, even in battle. He also advises a wisdom based on high morals. Example: He says leaders should never trade their honor for food or drink because protecting your reputation is more important than knowing where your next meal is coming from.

He goes on to say that leaders have to produce:

“Don’t use lots of milk if you have no cattle. Don’t dress up if you have no sheep. For it is wrong … to be proud without producing.”

— Adapted from The Counsels of Cormac: An Ancient Irish Guide to Leadership, translation by Thomas Cleary, Doubleday.

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