Navigating Polarities is a vital skill in today’s complex world. Polarities can create stress and suffering in relationships, on teams, and in organizations. They can also create stunning success and yield sustainable results.
The Human KPI measures six polarities that are hallmarks of a leader’s life – those paradoxical tensions that must be mastered to effectively lead the people relying on you.
The Human KPI measures these six polarities:
Assuredness :: Openness
Healthy confidence flows from genuine competence, self- worth, and self-assurance. It springs from a passionate point of view about what to do and being a fearless pioneer in finding the way. But this assuredness, when overused, can convey, “I know more than you” or “I am more than you,” leaving others feeling disrespected and belittled. When we navigate Assuredness::Openness, the importance of trusting we are good enough is matched by an openness and humility to recognize and embrace our imperfection and humanity. This opens the door to curiosity, learning, and connection.
Focus on Self :: Focus on Others
Relationships are essential to humans and are a big part of what gives life meaning. And they are a two-way street. We all have personal interests to satisfy and we should take care of ourselves by asking for what we need from our relationships. And we need to do it in a way that considers others’ interests and doesn’t leave them trampled and bruised. We have to care for, and be generous to, others while taking care of ourselves. Sustainable relationships require maintaining the personal energy to care for others by navigating Focus on Self::Focus on Others.
Hope :: Reality
The possibility of a better future keeps us going. Without optimism about what could be, we shut down ideas and bring a gloomy outlook to those around us. However, having too much confidence in the inherent goodness of life can lead to naivety, impracticality, and denying what is. To lead a fulfilled life, we need to trust our ability to step into possibility while also having both feet planted in the here and now. Blending Hope::Reality provides a buoyancy to life. It allows us to accept reality and hold optimism about what’s to come.
Take Seriously :: Hold Lightly
Life is serious—there are consequences to what we do or don’t do. Countless things require our attention and people rely on us, so it’s important to show up to life with sincere and earnest conviction. It’s what drives us to excellence. But without a sense of lightheartedness and the ability to hold things with a loose grip, our diligence creates anxiety for us and others which limits our perspective and ability to have fun. Take Seriously::Hold Lightly is about showing up to life ready to put in the effort with a sense of ease in our heart.
Desire More :: Appreciate What Is
Growth is an inherent driver for humans. We hunger to improve, to learn, and to experience life in new and better ways lest we become stagnant and complacent. While a desire for more is necessary to grow, in excess it creates dissatisfaction and we overlook what is good, true, and beautiful. Ambition needs to be infused with gratitude for what we already have. Healthy growth requires us to Desire More::Appreciate What Is as we dare ourselves to stretch into discomfort while simultaneously appreciating the goodness of who we are and all that’s around us.
Responsibility :: Forgiveness
Being responsible allows others to trust you. You accept accountability for what needs to get done and offer amends instead of excuses when you fall short. But when overused, taking responsibility leaves us burdened doing everything and drives judgment of people who don’t live up to our expectations. We have to be able to let people, including ourselves, off the hook when things don’t go as planned while still holding them accountable for the impact of their actions. When we navigate Responsibility::Forgiveness, the importance of taking ownership is matched by understanding mistakes happen and giving people second chances.
Polarities honor the complexity of a leader’s world
Both/And leadership requires more than changing behaviors – it also means adopting the mindsets that sustain those behaviors.
The Human KPI consists of three rings demonstrating how the six human polarities at the center of the wheel interplay to drive capacities needed to realize three core human aspirations.
The Aspiration RingThe Aspiration Ring summarizes three of the essential results that contribute to fulfillment and success.
The Capacity RingThe Capacity Ring contains six of the behaviors needed to deliver on the results of the outer ring.
The Polarity RingThe Polarity Ring contains the poles of six of the key polarities people have to navigate regardless of the role they play. They act like a mindset and contribute to or detract from a person’s ability to demonstrate the behaviors in the middle ring.
Developing how leaders see and who they become
The KPI is a behavioral and mindset model. It defines specific behaviors that can be observed, and therefore, can be practiced, adjusted, and learned. It also gets underneath the behavior to illuminate the mindset driving the action or inaction.
The KPI provides multiple doorways for a leader and their KPI Certified coach to work on making behavioral adjustments today while uncovering mindsets that could be standing in the way of future growth and development.
“I noticed that holding this pole absolutely speaks to a part of my identity, and the less preferred pole touches deeply rooted beliefs forged by society’s culture of racial inequities.”Shelly Heath-Watson, Director, Coaching Programs & Services, CI International
Want to take the KPI?
Explore your relationship to 6 of the key polarities that shape a leader’s life.