A Warrior, A Healer, and Tao

The leader can act as a warrior or as a healer.

As warrior, the leader acts with power and decision. That is the Yang or masculine aspect of leadership.

Most of the time, however, the leader acts as a healer and is in an open, receptive, and nourishing state. That is the feminine or Yin aspect of leadership.

This mixture of doing and being, of warrior and healer, is both productive and potent.

There is a third aspect of leadership: Tao. Periodically, the leader withdraws from the group and returns to silence, returns to the Source.

Being, doing, being…then, Tao. I withdraw in order to empty myself of what has happened, to replenish my spirit.

“If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead people, you must learn how to follow them.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

A brilliant warrior does not make every possible brilliant intervention. A knowing healer takes time to nourish self as well as others.

Such simplicity and economy is a valuable lesson. It deeply affects the group.

The leader who knows when to listen, when to act, and when to withdraw can work effectively with nearly anyone, even with other professionals, group leaders, or therapists, perhaps the most difficult and sophisticated group members.

Because the leader is clear, the work is delicate and does not violate anybody’s sensibilities.

Source: The Tao of Leadership – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider