Balanced Leadership


“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character.  But if you must be without one, be without the strategy”.

(Norman Schwarzkopf)

I try to leverage things I’ve learned over time from diverse leadership principles daily.  This quote signals leaders are concerned with positive outcomes not who should receive the credit.  How many times have you heard a leader exclaim what ‘they’ did but maybe not provide full credit to the team who helped along the way.

Balanced processing is an Authentic Leadership variable that encourages leaders to seek the ‘big’ picture within the work environment before making decisions.  This concept provides a ‘full view’ of the current situation and solicits input to ensure decision making is done with sound information.  Leaders can leverage balanced processing to build trust, encourage professional growth for direct reports and provide the organization with reliable decision-making techniques.

How can leaders initiate balanced processing in the work environment?

  • Look at both sides of a situation
    • Positive and negative
  • Show the ability and willingness to gather multiple viewpoints
    • Not just what you want to hear
  • Actively seek different views and professional opinions
  • Eliminate a defensive or negative position when receiving information


Work place impact of balanced processing

Leaders who leverage balanced processing actively seek information from others (direct reports, colleagues, etc.) then make decisions based on collected information.  This decision- making model highlights the importance of feedback to direct reports and encourages them to seek feedback for themselves.  Balanced processing helps build trust in the work environment—it emphasizes ‘all’ opinions are valued and expected.  The concept also eliminates personal bias from the decision-making process, everyone in the organization has input prior to the final decision.   Finally, balanced processing allows for the development of objective action plans in decision making.

Balanced processing encourages direct reports to be engaged in the work place.  Leaders are viewed as approachable, trusted and influential because they want and seek feedback in the decision-making process.

*Leaders should also explain they value input from all but the decision made must be the best for the organization. *

My Authentic Leadership research identified balanced processing as the variable that best explains job satisfaction for direct reports.  They want to be involved!

How can you leverage balanced processing in the work environment?  What impact would a leader who displays balanced processing have on your daily outcomes?  Curious, thanks!


(Play chess, not checkers!)

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