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  • Writer's pictureOlivier S.E. Courtois

What If the Key to Sustainable High Performance Was to Accept a Leadership Paradox?

I often meet leaders and their teams, and I observe a dichotomy. The leader's "power", his credibility, is based on his ability to ask for more. The "winners" ask for more and achieve their goals, the "losers" settle for less.

In itself, why not. No social body is static, and if it does not develop, it regresses. This is an immutable law of nature that also applies to organizations. And it is the role of leaders to push the organization to surpass itself, to encourage employees to excel.

The main problem is that many leaders find it difficult to accept that one can be dissatisfied with the status quo and at the same time happy with the current result. Paradox! Appreciating the current outcome is essential. It is about taking a break and recognizing the value of the work done, the efforts of the employees. It allows for reassurance in a constantly changing environment. This posture is essential to help teams grow and to put the organization on the path to continuous improvement.

This "frame freezing" is not contrary to the need for growth, improvement and correction. It is the driving force behind it. Unfortunately, under pressure, many leaders forget this and their leadership is reduced to a frantic race, to constant negative and even aggressive criticism. The result is often counterproductive. It requires paying a high price to keep employees hanging on as long as possible. This has an undeniable social and economic cost.

What about your organization, your leadership?


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