Chapter 17 instructs rulers or a modern day leader how to act. The highest form being the leader whose followers are unaware that they follow him, rather the end result is a “We did it” as a team.
Thank you to Derek Lin’s Tao Te Ching Annotated and Explained.
The highest rulers, people do not know they have them
The next level, people love them and praise them
The next level, people fear them
The next level, people despise them
If the rulers’ trust is insufficient
Have no trust in them
Proceeding calmly, valuing their words
Task accomplished, matter settled
The people all say, “We did it naturally”