EVERY LEADER faces the same conundrum many times a day, a dilemma that pulls them in opposite directions where neither direction is sustainable or ultimately effective. Every day they crave a way to reconcile these opposites and too often find themselves either choosing sides in a desperate attempt to find an anchor in the storm or vacillating between extremes to soothe their ambivalence.

The conundrum is to reconcile compassion with accountability. I’ve heard this conundrum expressed in many ways:

• People versus tasks

• Process versus content

• Relationships versus results

• Peace versus justice

I’ve intentionally used versus to juxtapose these pairs of words and underscore the shared experience of so many leaders we work with— ...

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