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Reflections from President Blau: On Leadership

July 19, 2018

Each month, our community as been lucky enough to receive a blog posting written by President Diane Blau that shared what was on her mind and in her heart regarding MSP and the field of clinical psychology.  This month marks the end of her tenure. 

President Blau has given so much of herself in her writing; she leaves us with her wisdom and the guideposts for how we are to continue.  Below she shares her last blog as President.


Diane Blau, PhD psychology associate

President Diane Blau

Over the six years during which I have had the privilege of serving as President of the Michigan School of Professional Psychology, I have learned many lessons about leadership, my training occurring on the job and my teachers consisting of the students, faculty, special service staff, fellow administrators, and the Board of Trustees.  I am grateful for your insight, wisdom, and ever generous hearts.

Being a leader is similar to being the conductor of an orchestra. In the final performance, the conductor is seen but not heard; it is the instruments that together create the harmony that makes the music come alive. Each instrument is critical to the sound that emerges; each has significance in generating notes that together produce the rhythm and character of the melody.

The conductor is attentive to every vibration and has an ear for each instrument, knowing when one is too resonant, or perhaps off key.  The conductor redirects, indicates, or models other options or opportunities while remaining attentive to and respectful of each instrument’s import to the composition.

Expert in distilling concerns and predicting outcome and potential, the conductor provides meaningful commentary and generous encouragement to each orchestra member and to the ensemble as a whole.

It is the conductor’s intent to enhance each instrument’s richness and engender a spirit among and between the players that reaches beyond each of their individual capacities and creates a collective masterpiece.

The collective masterpiece, for me, is the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.