The Leader’s Dilemma: How to Balance Two Important Needs

The Leader’s Dilemma: How to Balance Two Important Needs
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-06-29
Unit 1Slide Deck: The Leader’s Dilemma
Unit 2Transcript: The Leader’s Dilemma
Unit 3Workbook: The Leader’s Dilemma
Unit 4Recording: The Leader’s Dilemma

Typically, the interests of the employees and the employers are viewed to be at odds with each other, and leaders also usually find themselves in a dilemma and balancing on a tight rope ensuring each of the parties’ needs are accounted for. In this webinar, Dr. Ed Sherman shares how building on one of these two seemingly opposing forces consequently strengthens the other.

Dr. Ed Sherman, Psy.D. has 40 years of experience in public safety and worked as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, and paramedic in different jurisdictions where he’s been trained and assigned in various units and specializations. He is currently an organizational consultant, executive coach, and leadership development specialist guiding organizations and facilitating improvement for staff, processes, and leadership towards overall efficiency and productivity.

Specifics of his discussion are on:

  • The concept of a leader, leadership, and the ideal leader.
  • How leaders can influence others and activate learning for future leaders through modeling.
  • The leader’s dilemma tearing them apart having to choose between advancing the employees’ welfare and needs or the organization’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • Why leaders find it difficult to be supportive, helpful, and understanding and address the needs of employees and how the pandemic made the value of supporting employees evident.
  • Strategies to employ to achieve balance between agency and the employees.
    • Creating a workplace culture where employees can safely communicate their ideas and concerns without fear of negative consequences or lack of support.
    • Leaders proactively conveying concern and offer assistance by reaching out to employees.
    • Ensuring that there are resources available at all times before any critical incident occurs that can provide employees the support they need for personal or professional aspects of their life.
    • Conducting periodic check-ins with employees particularly those that do not initiate conversations or are not comfortable sharing to express concern and build rapport.
    • Reestablishing work expectations while actively acknowledging the issue, how it may inadvertently impact work performance, and providing temporary accommodations if possible.
  • Things to do to set up employees for success that will consequently advance the organizational objectives.
    • Stating job expectations upon hire and providing training and assistance to perform the duties effectively.
    • Providing regular constructive feedback and opening up an ongoing dialog about their work performance and personal concerns that may impact their duties.
    • Offering assistance, remedial training, and immediate troubleshooting for work problems and issues that employees may encounter.
    • Taking disciplinary action only as a last resort and when absolutely needed.
  • Conducting performance evaluations outside of the documentation and taking the time to talk and unpack the employee’s pain points, areas for improvement, and successes.
  • Why leaders avoid dealing with people problems due to their lack of training and discomfort with conflict.
  • The value in…
    • Seeking first to listen and understand the employees’ challenges and concerns before providing orders on what should be done.
    • Focusing on the outcome and shifting away from blame towards a solution-centered approach and lessons learned.

The webinar audience raised questions about:

  • Navigating the open-door policy in such a way that it does not subvert the leadership/system.
  • Fostering relationships with employees that aren’t as open to communicating their concerns.
  • Being recently promoted and leading a team that you used to be a part of without risking your position and relationships.
  • How can leaders best handle news/gossip that is circulating.
  • Dealing with employees that are technically excellent but tend to be pessimistic and have trust problems.
  • How to best do check-ins with employees.
  • Handling employees that demonstrate defensiveness when given suggestions.



Other Webinars with This Speaker


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Love the Q&A portion.” — Amanda
  • “All the information was so valuable and hoping I can apply in my career.” — Aminda
  • “Excellent presenter. You confronted the difficult questions – head-on! Thank you for the realistic tips to survive as a supervisor! Thanks for the answers to help to go from ‘one of the guys’ to become their team leader! It’s a tough transition when your ‘former buddies’ expect more slack! True friends will understand and help you.” — Roseann
  • “I really appreciated understanding how to support employees, as well as how employees can view the perspective of supervisors.” — Brooke
  • “The speaker acknowledged that empathy must at some point give way to the needs of the organization. Too few are willing to be forthcoming about that.” — David
  • “I appreciate learning the five steps leaders can take to create an environment that balances the needs of employees and the obligation to fulfill the objectives of the organization.” — Deirdre
  • “The handout was very helpful, and going through the handout in detail with context accompanied by scenarios was so helpful!” — Jenny
  • “Great topic. I love that sections were broken down into numbers or bullets. Not only were they easy to understand, the instructor further described each in detail.” — Sergeant
  • “The question and answer session was the most valuable part. Hearing the suggestions provided by Dr Sherman was helpful as most of the topics involved something, I have experienced as a leader.” — Kyanna
  • “At this point in my career in a few days, I will be assuming the position of supervisor and this was a blessing perfect timing. It provided me some information that will be an asset as I start my new adventure.” — Luz
  • “I enjoyed his personal story.” — Reba
  • “His leadership viewpoints are excellent.” — Robert
  • “Dr. Sherman made a great point to allow the employee to solve their issue(s) and for leaders to support and guide. This way the solution is the employees’ [solution and] they will be more invested in following through. I feel that “7 Habits for Highly Effective People” is a must-read for anyone in a leadership position. Thank you for your time and for providing your insight.” — Steven
  • “Dr. Sherman provided leadership skills in an easy format to understand with a goal in mind. Thank you.” — Shannon



Additional Resources
2 years ago
After the Webinar: The Leader’s Dilemma. Q&A with Dr. Ed Sherman
Webinar presenter Dr. Ed Sherman answered a number of your questions after his presentation, The Lea […]
3 years ago
In Search Of Excellence: Lessons On Leadership, Life & How To Empower Female Leaders To Rise
True leaders welcome insights from others to become better. There are lots of resources – books, c […]
E5 Leadership
5 years ago
E5 Leadership
The type of leadership in effect in any agency is reflected in the people that work within its halls […]
5 years ago
The Power of Resilient Leadership
There are many values and virtues that we are all taught from school to our jobs when it comes to su […]
6 years ago
Understanding Leadership through Self Fulfilling Prophecy: an Interview with Amy Morgan
We've all heard of, or perhaps been cautioned about, self-fulfilling prophecies. Usually, however, i […]