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The Swiss Army Knife for Leaders

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The Swiss Army Knife for Leaders

A Guide to Leadership with Lasting Impact


15 min read
11 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Leadership is like a Swiss army knife. Different situations require different tools.

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  • Analytical
  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Gabriël Anthonio traces his interest in leadership to a summer day in his youth when his grandfather handed him a Swiss Army knife. His grandfather explained that the knife and its different tools represent multiple options for dealing with life’s challenges. The conversation resonated with Anthonio; here, he illustrates how leaders can metaphorically utilize the knife’s implements in the workplace. Take his advice to heart, and you’ll be a cut above everyone else.


Multiple tools make you a sharper leader.

Like a Swiss Army knife with multiple tools, leaders need a multifaceted approach for dealing with various challenges and situations. You must simplify complicated problems, then find the best options for solving them. Sometimes you have to abandon familiar behaviors and strategies that aren’t working. Leadership also means regaining your feet after you’ve fallen.

Think of a Swiss Army knife, and you’ll recognize the varied options it offers for working on different issues. Influential leadership doesn’t always require grand gestures or seismic shifts. You can be an effective leader regardless of your situation or position. Don’t wait for an emergency to work on yourself. Any time is a good time to improve your leadership skills.

Large blade: Major issues require decisive action.

Using the large blade to address big issues that can’t wait requires courage and conviction. Handling a serious situation that may affect many people calls for decisive action. No leader’s decision to use the large blade is casual. But significant change doesn’t occur...

About the Author

Gabriël  Anthonio, chairman of the board of North Netherlands Addiction Care, lectures at the NHL-Stenden College and the University of Groningen.

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