The Secret to a Thriving Workplace: Learning to Embrace What Most Leaders Avoid

You want to be a great leader. Someone who makes a positive difference through the work you do and in the lives of the people you do it with. A person who inspires others through your positivity and passion. The kind of leader everyone wants to work for.

In order to do this, you need to be successful at three things: 1) building effective teams; 2) leading people through change; and 3) fostering a healthy workplace culture.

The problem is, most organizations are broken, forcing you to spend more of your time wrestling with conflicting values and refereeing unhealthy conflicts. This can leave you feeling discouraged and unsupported.

It shouldn’t be this hard! You deserve a trusted roadmap to build the thriving workplace you know you’re capable of.

Working with incredible leaders ranging from Nobel Peace Prize winners and Fortune 500 CEOs, I’ve learned that the secret to success is to embrace the very thing most people avoid: TENSION.

Great leaders find healthy tension in the following key areas:


  1. Promoting Structure AND Flexibility
  2. Focusing on Tasks AND Relationships
  3. Communicating Truthfully AND Tactfully
  4. Encouraging Collaborative AND Independent Work
  5. Focusing on Parts of the Organization AND the Whole Organization


  1. Embracing Innovation AND Preserving Consistency
  2. Validating Facts AND Feelings
  3. Focusing on the Short Term AND the Long Term
  4. Valuing Planning AND Execution
  5. Embracing Complexity AND Simplicity


  1. Encouraging Freedom AND Responsibility
  2. Focusing on Results AND Relationships
  3. Promoting Rules AND Risk
  4. Fostering Critical Analysis AND Encouragement
  5. Valuing Work AND Home

Too many people spend most of their waking hours working for unhealthy organizations and in dysfunctional teams. Sadly, one of the biggest reasons for this is ineffective leaders who don’t have the skills or courage to face tension head on. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Once you start embracing tensions (instead of avoiding them) and learn how to manage them well, your leadership will stand out from the crowd. You will be responsible for creating an environment where everyone loves their work, who they get to do it with, and the impact it’s having.

Tim Arnold

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