Leadership Paradoxes: Clear, Consistent, Steadfast AND Open, Ready to Change

Recently, Business Day, a leading publication in Nigeria, interviewed me when I was in Lagos to speak at the West Africa Business Leaders Summit. The full article (no paywall) can be found here. An excerpt is below.

Business Day: “What one piece of advice would you offer individuals in critical leadership positions of businesses in the country?”

One of the most important things a leader must do is create clarity for the organization. This requires a very clear, consistent, and confident communication of the mission (what we do), purpose (why it is valuable to the world), and strategies (the changes and improvements we intend to make). The organization needs to be able to count on the leader for this clarity, consistency, and steadfastness.

However, at the same time leaders are projecting a picture of clarity, consistency, and steadfastness, they also need to remain fully open, constantly learning, and always ready to change, at least as fast as the world around them is changing. According to Singularity University, the pace of change in the world today requires us to be in “learning mode” for at least 100 days per year! So that’s the challenge: On the one hand, the team needs the leader to provide stability and clarity, but leaders can never afford to become still, and they must constantly be entertaining new ideas. Balancing these two competing interests well is one of the most critical skills for a successful leader.

Click here to read about another leadership paradox: Confidence AND Humility

Published by Mitch Barns


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