I am reading a new book called The Dichotomy of Leadership. I am only a chapter in, but so far am totally fascinated. The authors are Navy Seals who led troops in Iraq. In the book they dive deep into the different dichotomies of leadership.

What does this mean? First, let’s define the word dichotomy:

Dichotomy- (Noun) – a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

Two things that are represented as being opposed. Let me put some context around this. As a Seal commander, the author had to deal with the dichotomy of looking after his troops well being while also leading those men into battle to accomplish the mission. The missions they undertook could injure or cause the death of those troops. The commander had to hold both things in his mind and still get the job done.

In truth, those two positions were not opposed to each other. They were both important. There had to be a balance where both objectives could be achieved. It is a fine line for sure, but there are valuable lessons here.

While reading, my thoughts drifted to the dichotomies that exist in parenting. I want for my son to be safe and to keep him from being harmed. However, for him to grow into a truly productive member of society and to take his place as an adult, he has to face adversity. He has to be have to hold that dichotomy of caring for him and also letting him try things and potentially fail.

I am eager to read more. Gaining clarity on how to deal with these dichotomies will only be beneficial. I am sure it won’t make the situations easier, but it will give confidence that making the right decision is worth it.

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