The way of a Gakkai leader

With all the drama surrounding SGM today, we felt that it is important we return to the guidance of Mr Ikeda and remind ourselves once again. Please read and carefully ponder.

Ten points to always keep in mind, and manifest in our behaviour at all times. 

First, never be haughty. Leader must be modest through and through.

Second, never reprimand others. You should always treat others gently. In the Gosho we find the statement : “He makes it possible for the offender to rid himself of evil, and thus he acts like a parent to the offender” (MW-2, 211). Naturally it will sometimes be necessary for you to admonish or encourage others with a spirit of compassion. But you must not scold people in a fit of emotion.

Third, never raise your voice with fellow members. Leaders should be people of reason who always seek to win others’ understanding through discussion.

Fourth. Do not lie. Because we are common mortals, we make mistakes. There is no reason to feel that we have to cover up these errors. The world of faith is a world where things can be discussed frankly, without any concealment. Honest people will win the trust of those around them.

Fifth, never betray the privacy of another individual. In the organization, leaders are often called upon to counsel members with personal problem. Those who betray this trust and fail to safeguard  individual privacy demonstrate irresponsibility as leaders, as people of faith and as human beings. Leaders must be discreet, sincere people who respect the rights of others.

Sixth, do not look down on others. Leaders who have an inflated sense of self-importance, who look down on and discriminate against others, will eventually reach an impasse in life. All people are equally precious, regardless of their position. Excellent leaders are those who have a heartfelt respect for everyone.

Seventh, do not be unfair. All of the members—whether rich or poor, prominent or lacking in social standing—are irreplaceable children of the Buddha. I hope all of you will be-come impartial and just leaders.

Eighth, never overly strain yourselves or force members to push themselves beyond reasonable limits. You cannot maintain such a pace for very long. Pushing yourselves too hard is not necessarily a reflection of strong faith. Members can fully display their abilities only if they are allowed a certain amount of latitude. The last two items I want to mention are included in the qualifications I have just outlined.

Ninth, do not be arrogant. Arrogance undermines humanity and destroys faith.

Tenth, do not be unkind. Spiteful leaders make members miserable. On the other hand, those who can warmly support their juniors—to the point of enabling their juniors to eventually surpass even themselves in ability—are great Leader.   (10/2/91)

2 thoughts on “The way of a Gakkai leader

  1. It’s common in all religious organizations. When they become big and rich, the leaders’ will grow large and think they are better, holier and higher than the members. To be fair, we do find they are sincere and honest leaders among them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s