The leadership balancing act

The daily decisions and interactions that leaders face are like yin and yang; while they may seem conflicting from the outside, they are often complementary and interconnected. This article by Terry St.Marie covers seven of these key paradoxes:

  • Process vs. Innovation
  • Openness vs. Secrecy
  • Risk-Taking vs. Conservatism
  • Hubris vs. Humility
  • Talking vs. Listening
  • Accountability vs. Leniency
  • Nice vs. Tough

Leaders are continuously trying to balance these seemingly contradictory paradoxes. The paradox that stood out for me as the greatest challenge for leaders I work with is “Talking vs. Listening”. I come across many leaders who dictate to their subordinates rather than discuss and deliberate. As a leader it is your job to be a role model and guide those who look up to you, rather than just telling them what they can or cannot do. I would recommend reading the remainder of the article to get an idea of how to best navigate these paradoxes most effectively and “keep your balance on the leadership tightrope”.