Striking the Balance: Navigating the Push & Pull Drives of Effective Leadership

Leadership is a delicate dance between challenge and support. Finding the right balance that draws out your people’s best performance can be difficult.  Have you ever found yourself unintentionally slipping from being a collaborative partner to an overbearing parent in your leadership style?

By unraveling the dynamics between these push and pull drives, you can discover how to create a powerful synergy that brings out the best in your teams.

Do you know how to shift from parenting to partnering?

Watch as Brady Wilson explores the balance between the push-drive and pull-drive in leadership styles. Discover how triggers like complexity and tight timelines can cause a shift from partnering to parenting without your awareness. Learn how integrating these drives can bring out the best in your team.


The Engagement Paradox

Traditional employee engagement strategies aren’t working anymore. Scores are plateauing (in some cases even declining) leading to a crisis of belief for both employees and leaders.

This white paper offers a new path forward – one that blends the energy employees want with the customer experience and business results leaders need.

The Fine Line Between Micromanagement and Supportive Leadership

Picture this, you’re in a meeting, talking to your team about autonomy, decision rights, the ability to make mistakes, and learning from failure. You catch some eye rolling in the room, and your alarm goes off. A couple of weeks later, you hear secondhand that people consider you to be a bit of a micromanager, which is not your intent at all.

There have been times in your career where you found that beautiful sweet spot, using a directive approach to help bring out the best in people, while providing the coaching and guidance that shows you have your employee’s backs.

What could create the shift from partnering, holding out for each other’s highest good, to parenting?  Triggers, complexity, tight timelines, and high stakes can cause you to shift from a partner to a parent, without your knowledge. Let’s take a look at what could cause that to happen.


Understanding the Push-Drive and Pull-Drive

You have two powerful drives as a leader, and both of them are very valid. You’ve got a push-drive, and a pull-drive.

The push-drive is high challenge. Speaking your truth, stepping into constructive conflict, being directive, and resolving problems uses your push-drive.

In contrast, the pull-drive is high support. Showing interest, genuine curiosity, unguarded openness, empathy, and asking powerful questions uses your pull-drive.

So, when these two drives are integrated, you can provide that beautiful sweet spot and bring out your people’s best stuff.


The Importance of Balance In Your Leadership Style

If we overdo the push-drive, we end up being the overpowering, authoritative micromanaging parent.  If we end up overdoing the pull-drive, we end up being the helicopter and over-nurturing parent. If we have neither of the drives, we’re the absent parent who just kind of throws things over the fence and avoids tension.

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Do you know how to shift from parenting to partnering?


Transforming the way you engage with employees in today’s complex workplaces requires new approaches to leadership. Our customized learning solutions will help you grow leadership skills and fuel sustainable performance.

If you want more on this, check out our white paper, The Engagement Paradox which goes into how we can transform engagement and get the very best from our team.