Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated, not absorbed.

— Mary Parker Follett

The most scandalous Mary Parker Follett quotes that are little-known but priceless

That is always our problem, not how to get control of people, but how all together we can get control of a situation.


There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish.


Management is the art of getting things done through people.


Give your difference, welcome my difference, unify all difference in the larger whole - such is the law of growth. The unifying of difference is the eternal process of life - the creative synthesis, the highest act of creation, the at-onement.


Coercive power is the curse of the universe, coactive power, the enrichment and advancement of every human soul.


In crowds we have unison, in groups harmony.

We want the single voice but not the single note; that is the secret of the group.


The most successful leader of all is the one who sees another picture not yet actualized. He sees the things which are not yet there... Above all, he should make his co-workers see that it is not his purpose which is to be achieved, but a common purpose, born of the desires and the activities of the group.


We must face life as it is and understand that diversity is its most essential feature.


Imitation is for shirkers, like-minded-ness for the comfort lovers, unifying for the creators.


The ignoring of differences is the most fatal mistake in politics or industry or international life: every difference that is swept up into a bigger conception feeds and enriches society; every difference which is ignored feeds on society and eventually corrupts it.


We should never allow ourselves to be bullied by an either-or.

There is often the possibility of something better than either of these two alternatives.


The leader is one who can organize the experience of the group .

.. and thus get the full power of the group. The leader makes the team. This is pre-eminently the leadership quality - the ability to organize all the forces there are in an enterprise and make them serve a common purpose.


About Mary Parker Follett

Quotes 80 sayings
Profession Social Worker
Birthday September 3, 1868

Most people are not for or against anything;

the first object of getting people together is to make them respond somehow, to overcome inertia.


It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned.


All polishing is done by friction.


Fear of difference is fear of life itself.


What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of the utmost importance that these should not be considered the same.


Another idea that is changing is that the leader must be one who can make quick decisions. The leader to-day is often one who thinks out his decisions very slowly.


The divorce of our so-called spiritual life from our daily activities is a fatal dualism.


Leader and followers are both following the invisible leader-the common purpose.


The insight to see possible new paths, the courage to try them, the judgment to measure results - these are the qualities of a leader.


there is a pernicious tendency to make the opinions of the expert prevail by crowd methods, to rush the people instead of educating them.


The conflict of chemistry we do not think reprehensible.

If we could look at social conflict as neither good nor bad, but simply a fact, we should make great strides in our thinking.


And the most successful leader of all is one who sees another picture not yet actualized. He sees the things which belong in his present picture but which are not yet there.


It is not opposition but indifference which separates men.


Responsiblity is the great developer of men.


The ablest administrators do not merely draw logical conclusions from the array of facts of the past which their expert assistants bring to them, they have a vision of the future.


The manager cannot share his power with division superintendent or foreman or workman, but he can give them opportunities for developing their power.


Democracy is self-creating coherence.


I am convinced that any feeling of exaltation because we have people under us should be conquered, for I am sure that if we enjoy being over people, there will be something in our manner which will make them dislike being under us.


... good intentions are not sufficient to solve our problems.


We can never catch up with life ... we shall always be eating the soft part of our melting ice and meanwhile the nice hard part is rapidly melting too.


An order then should always be given not as a personal matter, not because the man giving it wants the thing done, but because it is the demand of the situation. And an order of this kind carries weight because it is the demand of the situation.


A fatal defect in majority rule is that by its very nature it abolishes itself.

Majority rule must inevitably become minority rule: the majority is too big to handle itself; it organizes itself into committees ... which in their turn resolve themselves into a committee of one.


Majority rule rests on numbers; democracy rests on the well-grounded assumption that society is neither a collection of units nor an organism but a network of human relations.


while the executive should give every possible value to the information of the specialist, no executive should abdicate thinking on any subject because of the expert. The expert's information or opinion should not be allowed automatically to become a decision. On the other hand, full recognition should be given to the part the expert plays in decision making.


In the small group then is where we shall find the inner meaning of democracy, its very heart and core.


we should think not only of what the leader does to the group, but also of what the group does to the leader.


the point of educating instead of blaming seems to me very important.

For nothing stultifies one more than being blamed. Moreover, if the question is, who is to blame?, perhaps each will want to place the blame on someone else, or on the other hand, someone may try to shield his fellow-worker. In either case the attempt is to hide the error and if this is done the error cannot be corrected.


... orders come from the work, not work from the orders.


the best leaders try to train their followers themselves to become leaders.

... they wish to be leaders of leaders.


if you wish to train yourself for higher executive positions, the first thing for you to decide is what you are training for. Ability to dominate or manipulate others? That ought to be easy enough, since most of the magazines advertise sure ways of developing something they call 'personality.' But I am convinced that the first essential of business success is the capacity for organized thinking.


It seems to me that whereas power usually means power-over, the power of some person or group over some other person or group, it is possible to develop the conception of power-with, a jointly developed power, a co-active, not a coercive power.


Law should seek far more than mere reconciliation;

it should be one of the great creative forces of our social life.


Idealism and realism meet in the actual.


The state accumulates moral power only through the spiritual activity of their citizens.


Conflict is resolved not through compromise, but through invention.


We have thought of peace as the passive and war as the active way of living.

The opposite is true. War is not the most strenuous life. It is a kind of rest-cure compared to the task of reconciling our differences.


we certainly do not want to abolish power, that would be abolishing life itself, but we need a new orientation toward it.