The Tao of Facilitative Leadership

I can’t stop reading this piece of the Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. I’m working with the translation by Stephen Mitchell, but also found one online that is also wonderful…I feel like this might be the essence of true facilitative leadership:

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

1 Response to “The Tao of Facilitative Leadership”


  1. 1 Sean Ritchey

    So good

    When his work is done,
    the people say, “Amazing:
    we did it, all by ourselves!”

  1. 1 What We Missed

Leave a Reply