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

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Development Needs as Lack of Versatility

If we accept the premise that each side of the forceful-enabling polarity is a virtue, then we have a way of understanding how senior managers develop performance problems. They do so by taking one of the two approaches to an extreme (Table 2, pp. 14-15). It occurred to me in working with an executive a couple of years ago that he, like so many of his peers, was, as the saying goes, a force to be reckoned with. And how did he get into trouble? By being too much of a force. The same thing applies to the enabling side. As one senior leader said in reference to a talented, highly effective, but distinctly unversatile executive who reports to him, “There is nothing in the world that is purely good.”

When Virtues ...

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