The Paradox of Leadership

Leadership Concept

Our Speaker Joanna Barclay sent us her newsletter ahead of her speaker engagement exemplifying the many paradoxes leaders face. It was insightful and describes the issues leaders face.

The author Rajita Kulkarni writes in her blog post the following article.

The Paradox of Leadership

Being a leader is a tough job. Anyone who has been ( or is) in a leadership position will vouch for it.
You are on stage ALL the time. Your teams, customers, stakeholders are watching you, judging you, following you all the time. Its a skillful balance on a razor sharp edge. In addition, leadership is a paradox of sorts. I have experienced this myself in my different leadership positions. You need to exhibit opposite values. Though they are complementary, the skill of a leader is knowing when to exhibit which value. This is what defines the successful ones. I list my top 5 leadership paradoxes. I am still living these almost everyday !

1) Leader yet team player

As a leader you have to lead from the front. Take decisions, give direction. Stand up and take charge.
Yet in an increasingly flat world, you have to be a team player. Be at a level, where your team can relate to you.Today, knowledge is the biggest capital, and how good a team player you are, determines what best of the world you can attract.

2) Go getter yet ability to let go

A leader has to be a go getter. He has to have the ability to go for results, exceed his goals, He needs to have passion for his work. Yet he needs to be able to let go from time to time, lest he should break down. As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, you need to have both, passion and dispassion.
Letting go from time to time will help the leader get a fresh perspective to situations, not to mention save him from a burnout.

3) Dynamic yet reflective

A dynamic leader is a inspiration to his team. Enthusiasm, energy, commitment, creativity are all very important for a leader. A leader’s dynamism is infectious and influences his team greatly.
Yet its important to have some quiet reflective time. Taking some time for silence ( at least once a year for a few days) is vital . It is the storehouse of intuition, innovation and inspiration.
The deeper his rest , the more dynamic a leader can be. I have experienced, that my own meditation and breathing practices have helped me become sharper and more dynamic in my leadership roles.
Thousands of leaders around the world who have undertaken the TLEX (www.tlexprogram.com) workshop have also shared how their leadership action has improved after learning and practicising Sudarshan Kriya and Meditation.

4) Long term vision yet short term execution

A leader needs to have long term vision. Thats the goal post for the team. The direction in which they should be headed. This is very important, else the team will be lost. Yet this is not enough. A leader has to be focussed to deliver short term results. These will add up to lead the team and the organization to the long term vision.I have seen many leaders fall into the trap of building huge plans on paper for the future and failing to deliver in the present. You have to succeed on both counts !

5) Proud yet humble

Pride in the organization, the team, the product is a hallmark of a good leader. A leader who is not proud of what he/she represents or does is so insipid. I don’t want to work for a leader who is not proud of what he/she does. Would you? Pride brings confidence and conviction. Yet a leader needs to be humble enough to accept criticism & feedback. He/she needs to know when to acknowledge failure and correct the situation. No humility, no long term success.

Our expert speakers and trainers take these issues head on and provide leaders with the tool box to become the best business leaders they can be.