Ten Points on Managing Tension in Leadership
"Leaders live and lead in the middle of the mess. Where the tension is constant, prevalent, and real."
I am reminded of how important understanding this idea is- that tension is constant, real and prevalent when leading yourself and leading others. So we have to realize that tension doesn't go away. In fact, I would suggest tension is a good thing for leaders.
Here are a few thoughts on tension and the perspective as leaders we should have in managing it:
- Tension is a powerful platform to clarify what is important. Out of tension many times comes change. Change for good.
- There is a constant tension between who I am and who God wants me to be. The tension of growth and maturity is always present.
- Resisting average creates tension. Striving for excellence creates tension.
- We constantly live with a tension of determining in life how much we give away. Whether it is time, money, talents, resources, or focus, leaders must understand and embrace this tension of generosity.
- Generational tension is essential in passing the mantle of leadership. For the Church to move forward in culture, older leaders must pass on their wisdom and legacy to younger leaders.
- Tension among and within a team is healthy. Unity doesn't mean there's no tension. Unity means you are pursuing the same mission in the midst of real and purposeful tension.
- Leaders lead in the fray. Leading in the safety zone is easy, but true leadership happens in the fray where change is happening, and there is a unique tug of war happening in that area.
- Typically, where there is no tension, there is no real growth. Tension builds courage, character, wisdom and makes us authentic and real. It stretches and motivates us.
- As a leader, lean into the tension that constantly exists. As Andy Stanley says, some tensions are meant to be managed, not removed or extinguished.
- Tension is necessary. The tension makes us strong. Ultimately, the tension is good.
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