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The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership

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The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership

Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To inspire today’s leaders, Dr. Tim Elmore presents tales of visionary innovators who shaped society and business.

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples


The accelerated pace of change in the 21st century has created the need for more agile and nuanced leaders. Dr. Tim Elmore offers unique insights into the conflicting demands of today’s ever-changing world as he profiles outstanding historical and contemporary leaders from every walk of life. These personal stories of visionary innovators introduce readers to people who helped shape their societies and excelled at paradoxical skills. Elmore provides practical tips to concretize each of the eight types of leadership his profiles exemplify. 


Turbulent times require a new kind of leader with eight sets of paradoxical skills.

Transformational times demand leaders who can steer their organizations in a global, networked economy. Information technology and more demanding stakeholders in an increasingly volatile political and social environment call for executives with new skills. Collaborative leaders have replaced the traditional command and control hierarchies of mass-scale industrial production. 

Workers and consumers know more today and prove less loyal to corporate cultures or traditional brands than they did in the past. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically disrupted the workplace and accelerated trends toward remote work and the gig economy. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence today prove more sound markers of leaders’ likely success than expertise and cognitive abilities ever can. 

Isaac Newton, for example, used a year of disruption – 1665 to 1666, when the Great Plague of London forced him to leave Cambridge University to return home – to develop his most extraordinary ideas in mathematics and physics. Newton used the lacuna created by the pandemic...

About the Author

Dr. Tim Elmore is the founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization created to develop emerging leaders. He has written many books including 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid: Leading Your Kids to Succeed in Life; The Pandemic Population: Eight Strategies to Help Generation Z Rediscover Hope After Coronavirus; and Habitudes for Life-Giving Leaders: The Art of Spiritual Leadership.

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