How to Wear Multiple Hats: Both/And Leadership

team putting hands in the middle together, both/and

Share This Post

For the last couple of years, I have noticed a trend in the workforce. I especially notice it when the individual is low in the CliftonStrengths talent of Harmony. Here is what I am observing: A manager is sitting in a Senior Management meeting and she is upset at her team. She spends time being frustrated and upset at their performance. At her next team meeting, she talks about how the Senior Management is really coming down hard on her and how their (the teams) performance is putting her in a bad position. She tells them, throwing her hands up in the air, that you guys have got to get your crap together. And walks out.

This manager just became an EITHER/OR type of manager. E/O managers have to pick a side to defend. They create an US vs. THEM type of team. The manager positions herself to be on the SENIOR Management team and not her own work team. The team feels that the manager is against them.

This is an ineffective way to influence people.

A different management approach is to be a BOTH/AND type of manager. The B/A manager can be FOR the Senior Management Team AND for her team. She doesn’t feel the need to pick sides, after all, they are all on one team…THE COMPANY. A BOTH/AND manager would listen intently to the quarterly goals. She then creates SMART goals breaking things down into parts that can be easily understood. She will then meet with her team and ask for input on how the team can achieve the goals. She allows her team to formulate their plan individually. She then holds them accountable daily or weekly to the SMART goals THEY have individually set. She supports her team when she communicates the metrics to the Senior Management team.

A BOTH/AND manager can be for the company, team and senior leaders. This requires not taking sides, being curious, building collaboration and being aware. It is all about mindset.

We can apply this BOTH/AND attitude to many parts of our lives. Here are a few ways to consider:

  • You can be BOTH a successful business woman AND a mom.
  • You can be BOTH courageous AND fearful.
  • You can be loyal to BOTH your mom AND your mother-in-law.
  • You can be for BOTH your husband AND your kids. (Your husband is not your enemy.)
  • You can BOTH lead AND follow your team.
  • You can be BOTH a teacher AND a learner.
  • You can BOTH work hard AND rest well.
  • You can BOTH serve AND be served.
  • You can be BOTH generous AND receive generosity well.


Learning to not take sides is a healthy and mature way of conducting yourself. It’s also a more effective way to lead.


If you would like to learn more ways to lead effectively, please visit our website!

More To Explore


Time Management: A Core Leadership Competency

In last month’s blog we talked about emotional intelligence (EQ) as an important and highly sought after skill in leaders. This month, we’ll continue our

Are you and your team reaching your full potential?

Contact us today.