Balance as a competence for conscious leadership

Nov 26, 2020
Frieda Janssens

Respect for you as a leader. Because being a leader in a rapidly changing world in which we live now is not obvious. It calls for firmly developed change management. Organisations used to focus mainly on profitability, rationalisation and growth, but nowadays there’s more than that to focus on.

As an entrepreneur you have to be more and more resistant to change, uncertainty, high complexity and ambiguity. Or as the Americans describe it: the art of change management in 'this VUCA world'. Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.

The 4 balances of conscious balanced leadership

Leading consciously is about creating balance. Regardless the situation, leaders must be able to keep their businesses from being shaky. How will you, as a leader, maintain that balance? Undoubtedly there will be situations that make you shaky.

Keeping a balance starts with being able to assess and respond to situations. However, above all it’s about understanding the impact of the weights. Balanced leadership creates the ability to maintain four important balances:

1.   Balance between strength and decisiveness with Yin and Yang

As a business manager, you want to ensure a solid basis on which your employees can build so they can cope with any kind of change. Meanwhile you have to ensure the work is done. That’s what called the balance between Yin (strength) and Yang (decisiveness).

In this context, Yin includes feminine competences like cooperation, interdependency and unanimity, a global vision shared by all team members, reciprocity and vulnerability. It is a psychological strength necessary in every organization.

Yang complements Yin with rational terms and can rather be described as the decisiveness. It’s masculine energy for managing crises, to take advantage of the unpredictable and to build sustainable networks.

2. Attention to both internal situations and external developments.

If you want to be a successful leader, you have four hats in your closet. No, not literally, of course. 😉 For example, you need to have competencies as a leader, manager, coach and entrepreneur in order to be able to keep your company - and the situations it faces - in perfect balance. The importance of balanced leadership again.

Two out of those four hats have the internal and external focus. With internal focus, as a leader you pay attention to your staff and make use of the current qualities of your company. Leaders with an external focus are in touch with the market, have an eye for trends and technologies and dare to seize opportunities. Paying attention to both your internal and external focus makes you the ideal leader.

3.  Balance between steering and letting go in ideal leadership

Finding a balance means managing dilemmas on the shop floor. This can involve a wide variety of issues. For example, issues you experience with your staff, such as gossip on the shop floor. Maybe you yourself are struggling with doubts, such as handing things over and micromanagement

For solutions in situations that leaders face on a daily basis, we created a separate section: dilemmas @work. Highly recommended, because highly recognisable!

Take me to all dilemmas.

4.   Balance between cooperation and speed 

One of the greatest contradictions in operational processes is that of 'together' versus 'fast'. Finishing a project together is powerful and often provides more insights, which puts the project on a firmer footing. On the other hand, it can be complex and time-consuming, because more consultation is needed. Making compromises takes time.Speeding up developments and decisions can ensure progress; however often at the expense of synergy. After all, there is a chance that teams or employees will do their own thing, risking the decrease of the added value of a project.That’s why for every project you should consciously decide whether speed or cooperation are paramount. Balancing both powers ensures you will continue to work both efficiently and effectively.

Keeping the balance with all different forces is not an easy task. Nor there is one appropriate answer. Change management and balanced leadership are bumpy roads that you cannot master overnight.

Opposites regularly disturb the work, that's okay. It is your role as a leader to keep the balance in your organisation. Regardless of what applies.

Are you struggling to keep that balance straight? We like to offer some counterbalance with our tailor-made workshops in leadership and change management. 

Talk to us!

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