A NEW VIEW

It isn't easy to gain a complete picture of the choices involved in the forceful versus enabling dilemma. There is an ingrained tradition among both practitioners and students of management of taking a partial view. This tradition needs to be replaced with a new perspective.

Rejecting the Extremes

In my work with executives at CCL and, subsequently, in my consulting practice, I have found that when leaders make the distinction between being forceful and enabling, there is a strong tendency for them to place one approach at a disadvantage. This tendency has a long history. Let me give two examples.

Consider Theory X and Theory Y, conceptualized by Douglas McGregor in his 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise. This dichotomy has captured ...

Get Leadership in Action: Leadership that is Both Forceful and Enabling now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.