What are your favorite stories of leadership in the EBTs?

I’m preparing a talk on Buddhist lessons relevant to leadership for our local meditation center–could you help me identify examples in the suttas that describe a story relevant to leadership?

I’ve found a few suttas that describe Buddha’s perspective on leadership in regards to rulers, such as the Dutiyacakkānuvattana Sutta: Wielding Power (AN 5.132) and the Jataka’s Dasavidha-rājadhamma: Ten Qualities of a Ruler. However, I think the presentation would be much more interesting if I could mention specific instances in the EBTs where Buddha or his disciples showed leadership in tackling a difficult situation. For example, Kucchivikara-vatthu: The Monk with Dysentery, describes how Buddha showed leadership by example when tending to an ailing monk.

There are quite literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of examples of this throughout the suttas. I’d like to identify a few examples for each of the five categories described in the Dutiyacakkānuvattana Sutta. These categories were ascribed to Sariputta:

Sariputta knows what is right, knows principle, knows moderation, knows the right time, and knows the assembly

That’s why I thought it would be helpful to turn to the Discuss & Discover community to ask if you could share a few of your favorite examples so I could try to weave them into the talk. I’m happy to post the talk once prepared as well. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have.


Hi. I haven’t got any thoughts myself, but you might like this pamphlet by Ajahn Brahm:


That is very helpful–I was not aware of this and had not found it when I had done my earlier searches on the topic. This is a great resource and I’ll share it with those who attend the session. Many thanks for sharing this.


A post in the “Events” section here summarizes the presentation I’ve prepared–thanks!