Friday, March 29, 2013

Is BALANCE the Ingredient of Effective Leadership


“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control.  Lao Tzu

There are many important ingredients in effective leadership, such as trust, empathy, influence, humility, etc. However, the world is still full of stereotypical leaders, look the same, think the same, and act the same, what is missing?  could it be “BALANCE”?

 The Oriental philosopher Lao Tzu wrote "All beings support yin and embrace yang and the interplay of these two forces fills the universe. Yet only at the still-point, between the breathing in and the breathing out, one can capture these two in perfect harmony.". The Ying & Yang of leadership doesn’t only refer to gender or character difference, but more as to cognitive difference.  

  • The “Yang” Type Leaders:  The Yang is that which is manifest; it is what we see on the surface, the Yang type leaders are aggressive, however, excessive Yang only sees what is overt, tangible, and concrete. Their obsession is with status and looking good. What lies beneath is of little interest to them. This obsession with the overt makes them blind to the subtle, the implied, the covert, which is the Yin realm. Excessive Yang may represents something "negative," like egotism or narcissism 
  • The “Yin” Type Leaders: The Yin force, meanwhile, is its reciprocal- that which lies concealed beneath the surface, the latent force. Excessive Yin would present as yielding without structure which would result in collapse. In opposition to an individual who is excessively Yang (aggressive), excessive Yin may be perceived as lack of confidence, procrastination, and micro-management.

The Effective leaders need well balance of Yin & Yang: The nature is balance of the dark and the light, the female and the male, the down and the up, the yin and the yang. Observe the beauty, power and grace between the two and life takes on new meaning.

Yin and yang are two sides to the same coin. We need to accept and appreciate both Excessive Yang may lead to Narcissism which stems from the denial of true Self, something we all have to overcome;  to witness the perfection of the world around us, the perfect balance of the universe. This is challenging, because the ego thought system, something we all share until we learn to transcend it, the best strategy is to engage, yield,  redirect, and embrace the interaction of two complimentary and opposing forces – Yin and Yang, as world, both mankind world and human world are so dynamic with balance of energy.

Build the Team with Balance of Strength: The most important decisions for a leader are great people decisions because a leader's success will be determined by the leader's people decisions. A leader must build a high-performance team to gain a competitive advantage. Once you know the strengths on your team, these individuals should participate in deciding what is most important and how to achieve the needed goals. The leader needs to balance the Yin and Yang, and nurture focus to achieve the desired results. Building a high-performance organization is a constant journey of evaluating and upgrading the organization to achieve high performance result.

Leaders need cultivate the culture of balance --the collective mindset about how they do things here and balance the diversified viewpoints, creativity & discipline; the team's collective capabilities-which strength & skills available, and balance of the long term strategic goals & short term tactical tasks -what're the top business priorities the team should achieve, and how to align with daily tasks to measure the result in balanced scoreboard.  

BALANCE is indeed the critical ingredient in effective leadership, without it, the world will get stuck in extreme; with it, the world can be led with harmony. 
For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.     --Lao Tzu

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