… For the LORD has given you the town! Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an offering to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies. “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the LORD and must be brought into His treasury.” When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it with their swords….” (Joshua 6:16-21 NLT)
God has given me the blessing and privilege to work with a number of great leaders throughout my career in business and in ministry. Throughout that time, i have witnessed a wide variety of leadership styles. One of those styles is as a “paradoxical leader”. A leader using that style of leadership believes that a paradox (a self-contradictory statement) is an effective way to create tension within a group or organization from which creative solutions can then emerge. The leader must remain confident despite the ambiguity, messiness and contradiction that can develop in the midst of that tension. The leader’s desired result is direction without directives, authority without control, and a creative tension from which creative solutions will emerge. The idea is that the solution to many problems is somewhere between the two contradictory thoughts, and the creative tension will allow the diverging groups to converge on that solution. It’s a leadership style that can be very challenging for some to work under, but it is also one that can be highly effective.