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Forceful Leadership and Enabling Leadership: You Can Do Both by Robert Kaplan

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Versatility

Versatility is just that: having some capability on both sides of an opposing set. The Latin root of the word versatility means “to turn around.” A versatile manager can turn around or pivot in either direction—toward forceful leadership or toward enabling leadership. If you are sitting in a swivel chair and forceful is at one end of the room and enabling at the other, what is your range of movement? If you can turn in both directions, you are versatile.

An early version of the word was versable, and it meant “changeable, inconstant, fickle.” Sometimes, people mistakenly view versatility as inconsistency; however, manifested appropriately, in response to the demands of the job, it is an indisputable asset. As one executive I worked ...

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