Why Good Leaders Create Healthy Tension
Jeff Hayzlett, bestselling author of The Mirror Effect and Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits, on the importance of creating positive tension:
It’s your job as a leader to cause tension. They have the same thing in sports. If I could ask everyone that’s attending right now to fill in the following word, no pain, no… gain, right? Exactly, so why don’t we have that in business? I don’t get that, so I think you do need tension, and tension causes healthy debate.
That’s a term I learned from my CEO at Kodak and I loved it, I love healthy debate. I was doing that all my life. I love to sit at dinner and throw out a topic and have everybody fight over the topic, because you come out with a better knowledge, better understanding, better way of thinking about the thing than you did before you started that conversation. So healthy tension is great, and that’s the key word, healthy. Tension’s not good if it’s not healthy, so the key thing is trying to balance between that and pushing people too far.
If you do [push too hard and] scare them, no one’s going to die, so move on. It’s just business. This isn’t life and death for the most part. We’re not operating on people, thank goodness.
Check out the rest of Jeff’s Social Capitalist interview for more great insight into challenging the status quo.