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How to Become a More Well-Rounded Leader


How can leaders balance complex and often competing demands? The core challenge for modern leaders is to become more wholly human – to actively develop a wider range of capabilities and to more deeply understand themselves.

Think for a moment about one of your own strengths – a quality that has served you well at work and has been admired by others. Now try to recall a situation in which you have overused or over-relied on this quality. Are there occasions when your strength became a liability, causing more harm than good and even leading to the opposite of what you intended?

We most often overuse our strengths under stress. When we’re not getting what we want, our instinct is to double-down on whatever has worked best in the past. It’s the same sort of impulse that prompts an addict to increase the dose when the drug of choice no longer produces the same high it originally did.

Simply noticing this inclination reminds you of the choices you can make every day at work. But that’s not enough. It is also important to build complementary strengths or “positive opposites.”

To find the original HBR article, written by Tony Schwartz, click here.


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