“The hardest job a leader has is to navigate among often conflicting goals. Identify them first, and you can steer a winning course.”      

Dilemmas: a word from the Greek, two assumptions or premises.  Dilemmas are what your boss talks about when he says, “You’re in charge, Fosdick, but make sure Susannah is on board.” Managing dilemmas is what you do. However, you cannot manage what you cannot name.

Poring over the interviews, researcher’s began highlighting phrases like “we must do a … but also b,” or “in going after x, we must not lose sight of y.”  When he was done, he found nine “core leadership dilemmas.”  They fit any business and any manager, though they may be felt most keenly at the top.

In those dilemmas that describe your job.  What do you do with them?

Notices that pattern these are all different, but they form a single, central dilemma.  Its name: empowerment vs. alignment, the never-ending balancing act of managerial Board in which you try to give people independence and authority while making sure they use it in a way you’d approve of it they asked, which you don’t want them to do except, of course, when you do want them to.

The most important lesson of these dilemmas was seeing that, fundamentally, leadership is about ambiguities, not certainties like said: “The dilemmas helped us come to a different understanding of the roles a leader plays.”.

The simple steps are:

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