Complements are like mirror images of each other. The article “Adjusting Your Leadership Volume” puts it this way, “Leadership involves two great pairs of opposing approaches. One pair, the how of leading, consists of forceful leadership and enabling leadership” (p. 16). How many of us have worked for Type A bosses? They have the forceful part down pat, but they tend to be lacking on the enabling side. Just like Aristotle’s thought, that “what is good, virtuous, and effective in thought and action is the midpoint between deficiency and excess” (p. 14), we have to slide across the scale depending on the situation and the person.

“The other pair, the what of leading, consists of strategic leadership and operational leadership” (p. 16). I once worked for a man that was close to 90% strategic. He needed people around him that were able to see the vision, understand it, and implement it. It’s why we worked so well together, because I could get dirty with the day-to-day, but also able to sit back and make sure the end result, the strategic, was going to marry up well with the vision. Or said differently, the ability to see the forest and the trees, which is one of my strengths.

This article was really good for me because it helps me to see the two “pairs of leadership” visually, and helps me think about what is required in order to accomplish the current goals.


Where on the lines do you need to be?

– Kaplan, B. & Kaiser, R. (2007, Winter). Adjusting Your Leadership Volume. Leader to Leader.