Great Leaders Embrace the Paradox of “And/Both”
November 29, 2017

When leaders embrace paradoxes, greatness follows.

Great leaders need a malleable mindset that can embrace paradoxes in thinking. Over the past year I have experienced many paradoxes throughout the growth and development of my own team, and seen them with many clients.

The balance between humility and going-it-alone confidence is an area of struggle for many C-Suite leaders. The insatiable belief that the C-Suite “have to know it all” leads many leaders to the idea that there is no middle ground between group contributions and making independent decisions. The more the Awesome Journey teams grows, the more I see the value and distinction between the two and how each benefits the company.

Innovation and operational excellence is another area commonly seen as one or the other. How does a company foster and encourage an innovative culture while still maintaining operational excellence in day to day operations?

An excellent example of a CEO who has embraced paradoxes through the mindset of “And/Both” is Suzanne West, as seen her in her TEDx talk “The Power of AND”

In the Harvard Business Review article, “Both/And” Leadership, it speaks to paradoxical leadership requiring managing today while preparing for tomorrow, maintaining boundaries versus the need to cross them in the quest for innovation, and how to create real value while also keeping shareholders happy through monetary means. The ability to align and connect separate opposing forces is how companies create a culture of and/both (opens possibilities) versus either/or (closing the potential for possibilities).

Common Paradoxes:

Leadership Challenge:

Which leadership paradoxes do you embrace and which ones could you embrace to continue your leadership journey?

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