To succeed and deliver promised results, what sort of multidimensional leaders do we need to be? What do we need to focus on in the business – and how do we need to approach that?
With F Scott Fitzgerald’s quote in mind (“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”), consider a series of leadership paradoxes – opposing leadership behaviours that we know are necessary at different points in time for us to succeed as leaders in our complex world.
- Being an Innovator AND an Imitator
- Being a Visionary AND Implementer
- Being Tough AND Gentle – “a gentleman”, “a gentlewoman”
- Being Passionate AND Dispassionate
- Thinking Fast AND Slow
- Being Action-Orientated AND Reflective
- Being Creative AND Analytical
- Focusing on Results AND People
- Being Structured AND Spontaneous
- Being Kind AND Demanding
- Thinking in Big-pictures AND Detail
- Being Decisive AND Consultative
- Being a Coach AND Directive
- Being a ‘Strong-man’ AND Inclusive
- Being Ambitious AND Realistic
Instead of “either-or”, each paradox contains a set of “yes, and” behaviours. Both behaviours within each paradoxical pair add business value – unless exaggerated.
So let’s explore these 15 paradoxical behaviours over the next few months, one at a time, asking ourselves as we do so: “How can I do both, to maximise the value I add to the business in 2018?”