Zeng Shen was young enough to be Confucius's grandson, yet he won high praise from the
old sage. One of the sayings for which Zeng Shen is famous goes something like
this. "Every day I ask myself three questions. The first is, 'Have I sinned in my
thoughts and actions toward others?' The second is, 'Have I broken faith in any of my
friendships?' The third is, 'Have I tried to teach anything to others I have not fully
learned and understood myself?'"
If Zeng Shen asked himself these three questions every day, resolving to make no
mistakes, then, young as he was, we can well understand why Confucius praised him. Not
only is each of the three questions extremely important in itself, but the practice of
examining one's own behavior every day is a habit that every leader should cultivate.
Konosuke Matsushita founder of Panasonic, Velvet Glove,
Iron Fist (PHP Institute, Inc.). quoted in Bits & Pieces, August 20, 1992,