At Catalyst this past October, the theme was “Tension is Good“. They explored the notion that not all conflicts are problems to solve and that some are simply tensions that should be managed – despite our nature to try to get rid of all conflict in our lives. I was reminded of this again while listening to the December episode of Andy Stanley’s leadership podcast where Andy talks about maintaining a healthy dose of tension in our organizations.
The paradox is that some tension is actually good and if you try to solve those, instead of managing them, not only will you be more frustrated, you will actually not be acting in the best interest of your organization. Have you ever stopped to think about how much effort and time you might be wasting trying to fix or solve problems that you shouldn’t be? As any civil engineer knows, the right amount and right kind of tension is essential to achieve things that otherwise simply couldn’t be done. What tensions in your work, personal, family, church life should be managed and not solved?