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By Darryl Stewart

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.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.