I woke up this morning with that song in my head. It’s an “oldie but a goodie”. And, it’s exactly what I want to write about today.
“The Dichotomy of Leadership”. In 2018, Jocks Willink and Lief Babin penned this book. “Leadership is managing tensions. Leaders must know when to adapt. This is where self-awareness plays a big part. In a word, they need balance.”
“Leaders must find the equilibrium between opposing forces that pull in opposite directions.”
As I coach leaders through this new now, I’m seeing the struggle and pain that comes from working in a world of paradox. And this is especially true when you think about a leadership mindset.
I recently facilitated a Think Courageously Book Club session. A participant shared that they were feeling guilty about finding opportunities for growth and joy...during this time of pain and fear. And I heard that very same sentiment again today.
How do these paradoxes impact our mindset?
I have been learning, reading and writing this week about a rough topic. Cumulative Grief.
Though grief is difficult, it helps to recognize that it’s natural and useful, says George Bonanno, PhD, a psychologist who heads the Loss, Trauma and Emotion Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University. “It’s okay to feel grief over what we’re losing. When we do that, it allows us to let grief do its job, so that we can move on.”
Bonnanno's research suggests that once a crisis has passed, most people are able to bounce back and move on with their lives. Grief is also transient, even when we’re in the midst of its clutches. People should expect to fluctuate between moments of sadness and mourning, and moments of acceptance or even happiness, he says.
A paradox. There is a clear dichotomy around Growth and Grief. And it can be confusing.
This is where the Energy Leadership model provides a bright light of insight. Especially in a world of contradictions.
I’ve been coaching extensively around this model over the past six months. Personal energyis dynamic. It shows up under stress. And, when we are at our best, energy leadership can help us as we navigate turbulent waters.
Here’s the most simplified language of Energy Leadership using a single word.
Catabolic Energy (Level 1 & 2) is destructive, and catabolic leaders destroy and break down everything around them.
Level 1: Withdraw-The well know “flight response”
Level 2: Conflict-The well known “fight response”
Anabolic Energy (Levels 3-7) is building energy, and whether in the workplace or at home, great leaders build relationships, teams, families, and businesses
Assessing your energy throughout the day or a week is a powerful way to understand the dichotomy of our leadership responses.
It is true that we all are experiencing a surge of catabolic energy these days. And we also have a personal “surge protector” that allows us to move our energy to a different mindset. Even going from level 1 or 2 to level 3 can allow us to just be in the space of “it is what it is”.
It is also true, that through intentional leadership, we can choose a different response.
So, let’s circle back to our curious leaders who are finding growth and joy during this time. They are both student of energy leadership. And, they have learned how to access anabolic energy. They are able to chaotic period of time as an opportunity for growth...yeah Level 5!
We can grieve and find joy. We can feel overwhelm and find clarity. We can bury our head in the sand...it if serves us AND we can make a pivot to up spiral.
What will you choose?
I specialize in igniting your potential through energy leadership.
For more information and to take the Energy Leadership Assessment, contact me at [email protected]