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Diane Dreher

  • When confronted by conflict and confusion, another practice is to take a deep breath, pause and ask: 'Where is the gift in this?'

  • An effective leader is willing to think about what's happening and how to understand what's going on. Facilitating flow and making others more conscious of it, the leader communicates an awareness of process to the group, making them more aware of their energies and options. One important principle is to keep track of who has not spoken. ... It's also important to notice when people do speak out but are not heard. Effective leaders practice patience, reminding themselves to wait and observe, remembering that there's always more going on in a group than we're consciously aware of.

  • Remember the importance of small actions. They're the building blocks in the architecture of your life, the quiet victories you win for yourself each day.

  • Successful leaders develop effective strategies for maintaining their boundaries. ... Most time bandits don't know any better. And being a time bandit is a matter of context. One person's time bandit is another person's pleasant diversion. ... Instead of gritting our teeth to be polite and resenting the time bandit for holding us up, the best choice is to be honest. We cannot expect another person to honor our needs unless we affirm them ourselves.

  • Wise leaders know that if an individual doesn't count, the institution doesn't count for much either. Put mathematically, if the individual is a zero, together a lot of zeros add up to a whole lot of nothing.

  • All leaders need someone to whom they can bare their souls, someone with whom they can share life's frustrations and celebrations.

  • As a good gardener prepares the soil, so a wise leader creates an environment that promotes community. ... community involves a common place, a common time, and a common purpose. Just getting people in the same place at the same time does not produce a team. Community requires a common vision.

  • Where another person sees problems, a leader sees possibilities. ... Leaders must have the courage to follow their vision, to believe in the invisible, to work for something that's still only a possibility, while others often wring their hands in despair.

  • Leaders are not buffeted about by circumstance. They make what is into what might be, transforming challenging situations by means of courage and insight.

  • Any group has a sense of who it is and what it values, but this sense often remains beneath the surface. A wise leader can discern these unspoken beliefs and articulate them.

  • Micromanaging erodes people's confidence, making them overly dependennt on their leaders. Well-meaning leaders inadvertently sabotage their teams by rushing to the rescue and offering too much help. A leader needs to balance assistance with wu wei, backing off long enough to let people learn from their mistakes and develop competence.

Diane Dreher, U.S. writer, positive psychology coach

(1946)