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  • Writer's pictureWanda Wallace

How To Manage The Leadership See-Saw

Great leadership requires constant adjustments in style and approach

By Wanda Wallace for Addicted to Success


Leadership is a balancing act.

Almost every quality of great leaders can be overdone and its polar opposite can be needed on occasion (except for integrity). For example, being outspoken is a great quality, but there are also times to hold back from giving your point of view so that others speak first.

Great leadership requires constant adjustments in style and approach to get the best out of a broad range of people.

The one balancing act we speak too infrequently about is the balance between, on the one hand, knowing, doing and executing – in effect being the go-to expert who can help the team solve any problem and, on the other hand, enabling, orchestrating, and not knowing – something I call “spanning.”

In today’s knowledge economy, expertise is highly valued. Leaders use their expertise to gain credibility, to win over the loyalty of their team, and to solve team problems. Expertise driven leaders add value because of their ability to provide answers, do the work, and control quality and risk.

However, expertise driven leadership keeps the leader from stepping out of the details, letting the team wrestle with problems, and taking a broader view. Spanning leaders add value by focusing on priorities and direction, by connecting across the organization, and by tapping their broad network for information and perspective.


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