Developing Both/And Mindsets in Transformational Leaders: Navigating Key Polarities in a Complex World

international leadership association

Over the past decades scholars and practitioners have proposed that developing a Both/And mindset to supplement Either/Or thinking is arguably one of the most important, and most daunting, leadership capacities (Van de Ven & Poole, 1988; Smith & Lewis, 2011).

Dealing with paradox and polarities such as local::global, structure::flexibility, purpose::profit, head::heart are central to a leader’s ability to navigate the complexity and needed transformation of today’s world.

The International Leadership 2021 Conference theme suggests that leadership now “requires leaning into our anxieties, developing a tolerance for uncertainty, and learning to accept, even cherish our vulnerabilities” (ILA Call for Proposals, 2021). All of these things are directly related to a leader’s capacity for both/and thinking (Brown, 2017) and will require us to help leaders develop that mindset.

Join Kelly Lewis and Brian Emerson at this year’s ILA Conference to not only talk about paradox but learn to help leaders develop the practical skills to address it.

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