Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart
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Picture of a grid showing a framework for support and demand

The paradox of being supportive while also demanding performance

Leadership trainer Linton Sellen taught the Inclusion/IBEX leadership team that the role of a leader is to support the performance and well-being of others. He also made many comparisons between parenting and leadership.

Sellen’s point about performance and well-being is about striking a balance between caring about people unconditionally while still holding them accountable for their results. Many leaders see this as a contradiction and tend toward either being generally more supportive or generally more demanding. This is incorrect; the key is striking the right balance between the two approaches.

Bestselling author Daniel Pink recently created a 144-second video that does a lot in a very short period of time:

  • it reminds us that a leader needs to support and to demand performance;
  • it confirms Sellen’s assertion that parenting and leadership are very similar; and
  • it summarizes the key point of one of the hottest leadership/psychology books right now – (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) by Angela Duckworth.

As a leader, I struggle with the paradox of being supportive while still demanding the best from people. I am always looking for new insight on how to best balance these things and Pink has delivered a great bit of wisdom on the subject.

Watch the video. It is worth the 144 seconds.