Attention to Tension

A while back I was having a conversation with a respected leader who used an interesting phrase. He said he likes to pay “attention to tension,” whenever he is feeling it.

When you stop and think about it, his philosophy is almost counterintuitive – most leaders try to avoid tension.

If you want to be a great leader, I suggest you embrace my friend’s practice of giving attention to your tension.

Leadership, by its nature, will always have those moments where your instincts will speak to you … you will have a “feeling” something just isn’t right.

One leader I know calls it the “cringe factor.” Others call it a leaders intuition. Whatever you call it, don’t ignore it. I think you will find it is much easier to tackle something head on than it is to let it fester.

Tension can be a good thing. It brings great gain to athletes in the weight room, on the track, and in the pool. It can do the same for a leader in the boardroom.

[Tweet “Strong leaders are forged by embracing tension. Weak leaders chase comfort.”]

“Attention to tension” – practiced by few, but a valuable discipline for anyone who wants to become a better leader.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What are the consequences of avoiding the “tensions” of leadership?

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