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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Paradoxical Leadership

You want to make significant steps in innovation, but also enhance your ongoing business. You want to grow by offering customized solutions, but also increase efficiency through standardization. You want your team members to show entrepreneurship, but also comply to the procedures. You want to speed up your change program, but also engage all stakeholders ….

As a leader, manager or professional, you are dealing on a daily basis with opposing approaches and goals. You sometimes feel the necessity to make an ‘unambiguous choice’. But is that really necessary… and does it lead to effective and sustainable solutions?

Paradoxical leadership is about using the power of opposites. Making choices that do justice to both sides of the coin. Being able to deal effectively and inclusively with contradictions, tensions and dilemmas is one of the most important challenges of our time. It is a skill that requires personal mastery and one where you can really make a difference.

Sounds logical and familiar, but how do you do this? This provides insights and inspiration.

Book Release Paradoxical Leadership

Paradoxical Leadership invites you to recognize and to value the apparent contradictions in yourself, your team and your organization, using them as a driver for adaptability, innovation and sustainable growth.

‘’A brilliant book! Our world needs more paradoxical leadership to solve our world’s greatest problems, and Paradoxical Leadership is the perfect traveling companion and guide. Brughmans shows both the novice and the experienced paradoxical thinker the maps, the history, and the tools to map the terrain of both/and thinking. We all need to engage with these ideas and with Brughmans’ book to help us be more creative and generative thinkers by engaging the complexity in our lives and our world.’’

– Wendy K. Smith, Author of Both/And Thinking and Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management, University of Delaware.


Making Paradoxes Work

We can support you and your organization in developing a strong paradoxical competence on the level of mindset, skills and ways of working:


Lectures, inspirational sessions and workshops on paradoxical leadership and its applications.



How can you, as a leader, professional or coach, effectively and inclusively deal with ambiguity, tensions and dilemmas?



We advise organizations in complex challenges from a ‘both-and’ perspective.


Paradoxical Inspiration

Learn more about the paradoxical way of thinking and your own paradoxical skills







Ivo Brughmans

Ivo Brughmans is a philosopher, political scientist and management consultant. Connecting opposite poles has been a common thread throughout his own life and work. Ivo is fascinated by paradoxes and the challenge of bringing together opposite approaches and opening new perspectives that combine the power of both sides. He has written several books on how to use paradoxes as a driver for adaptability, innovation and sustainable growth, both at a personal, organizational and societal level,  and is a lecturer on the paradoxical theme at leadership academies and management schools.