Navigating the Tensions of Life and Leadership

13th Aug 2020



“…there is no energy unless there is a tension of opposites…” Carl Jung


Living life well, and doing leadership well, doesn’t come that easy, right? I think one of the reasons is that, if we’re truly leaning into it, we face tensions everywhere we turn. Those tensions that arise because we’re faced with seemingly difficult, contradictory choices that can stop us in our tracks.


For example, here are some of the tensions that I face on a daily basis:

Being invested, yet staying light.

Being confident about what I know, while staying curious about what I don’t.

Making stuff happen, while letting stuff happen.

Keeping it simple, while embracing complexity.

Being fully present, while wholly conscious of the past and future.

Being my authentic self, yet always evolving.

Being fully trusting, yet staying involved.

Honouring the past, while shaping the future.

Seeing the whole, while paying attention to the individual parts.

Avoiding bad things from happening, while needing to take risks.

Being decisive, yet keeping an open mind.

Having a voice while allowing others to be heard.

Going all-in, while hedging your bets.

Committing to world-class, yet accepting imperfection.

Caring for people, while driving for outcomes.

Which of these tensions do you face regularly? What others do you face? I’d love to know.


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