While reading Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, I was struck by this idea that we can embrace seemingly opposing qualities to become daring leaders. Brown talks about having a strong back and soft front to be a daring leader. She goes on to say that you can stay grounded in your confidence, setting boundaries and stay vulnerable and curious at the same time. The idea of being strong and soft can seem like opposites or even contradictions. This idea of holding two opposite ideas together and both can be true and valid is so valuable not just to being a leader but also to being human.
More recently in my career, I have realized that you do not have to stick to the binary of certain qualities. You can be both strong and soft, tough and caring, scared and brave, structured and flexible. As a beginning teacher, I believed more so in the binary.