Top 7 Pairs of C Words for Leaders

By Kevin Eikenberry

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A casual comment by a presenter at a conference we were facilitating led us to quickly build these word pairs for you to consider in your role as a leader. Think about each pair, the tension between them, the relative merits of each, and which you value more (and apply) in different situations.

  1. Centralized vs. Common. In organizations there is often much conversation about how to share expertise and knowledge. When services are centralized, the end results are often new silos and dissatisfaction. Think instead of how you can share services, by finding common needs. When the focus is on the commonalities, the results will be better services, more flexibly delivered.

  2. Control vs. Coordinate. When building a plan, which of these approaches do you take? There are times when each is appropriate, but which is your tendency? Are you flexible in determining which approach to use?

  3. Compliance vs. Commitment. Do you want people to be compliant or committed? Which are you? While it may seem easier to work for compliance, it is worth the effort and investment to build true commitment over blind compliance.

  4. Competition vs. Collaboration. Do people in your organization compete or collaborate? What about you? Is it possible to be a highly competitive person and yet collaborate? Spend some time thinking about how you can nurture the best from both of these opposites.

  5. Congruent vs. Complementary. When you are building a team or a network, do you look for a group of people with the similar or additional skills and experiences? All too often teams are formed with a congruent skill set when a wider focus is required. Depending on the flexibility required, you may want to increase the level of complementary skills in a team, or in your network.

  6. Contrived vs. Compelling. Reasons that are compelling can drive behaviors and change. When reasons for change seem contrived, or don’t pass the “bulletin board test,” they won’t work. Build compelling cases. Find ways to communicate your purpose in a meaningful way. Make it compelling.

  7. Combine vs. Compartmentalize. We think in silos. We try to “divide and conquer.” Specialization has a place, but we need to think in the bigger picture. Combine ideas, let things get a little messy sometimes. Too often in our effort to segment things and organize them we lose the forest, seeing only the trees.

Kevin Eikenberry and Dr. Jeff Evans. Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp to learn more and subscribe. Dr. Jeff Evans leads the Gaian Group http://gaian.com , a consulting organization that helps organizations successfully navigate large-scale change.

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Article Submitted On: January 27, 2005