The Paradox of Opposing Ideas

We must live in the paradox between two rights. For example, we need to balance the need for teams and teamwork with personal accountability. The most profitable companies aren’t those who focus on profitability as their main purpose. Reengineering and radical change needs to be balanced with incremental improvement. The history of innovation shows many come about accidently but they can be fostered by “controlled chaos.” Organizational improvements often come from both top down and bottom up.

Highly effective people are comfortable living in the gray zone of ambiguity. They can live with not having clear answers or letting situations unfold.

This issue also highlights one of the vital paradoxes of our crazy-busy times. Slowing down in order to speed up. Or speeding up in order to slow down. High performing athletes live in the critical balance of peak effort and periods of rest. Top rated leaders producing the best results operate at the highest speed. Paradoxically, they’re also the least stressed and can create space to slow down and enjoy life more. And slowing down to focus on what’s most important helps to accelerate successful execution.

This is the way to break the stranglehold of complexity: Slow down to power up. That’s right. Slow down now and you will move faster, further and with greater purpose later–even when, or especially when, you are staring down the triple threat of complexity, speed and uncertainty.

Summing-up: “The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still be able to function.” – Scott Fitzgerald

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