Management paradoxes

Managers have to deal with two important paradoxes:

  1. individual interests versus the power of the team
  2. the urge to keep control and the wish to give space and freedom at the same time

The individual

Has talent, knowledge, skills, aspirations and emotions. The individual strives for self development.

The team

(Team Power)  > ∑(Power of Individuals)

Freedom and space for entrepreneurship

Many managers believe in entrepreneurship. Real entrepreneurs, however, try to make colleagues to contribute to their individual goals. In the end, this is not seen as collegial. As a result, the only successes are the quick wins, breakthroughs that require more time will not get a chance. Internal competition requires a lot of time and energy and inhibits creative interaction. The brand is weakened because 'internal branding' attempts fail and the various entrepreneurial initiatives undermine a clear market positioning.


Other managers prefer to pull the strings themselves. That assures 100% focus on the goals. But if the boss knows it all so well, employees will wait and see or even become apathetic. The creativity is gone and risks will be avoided. Breakthroughs are realised with a relatively large effort. The market positioning is clear and uniform, because all interactions with the outside world are checked. But the brand is not really 'lived'.

The results for the individual are:

  • frustration
  • insufficient self development
  • rats win
  • talents leave the company or keep on struggling

The results for the individual are:

  • no self development
  • apathy
  • rats win
  • the others use their creativity and energy for private hobbies

Paradoxes require syntheses, read here how to do that.