Balanced Leadership

By | February 12, 2019

[February 12, 2019]  Dealing with children can be an amazing experience; one filled with new things, high energy, and interesting challenges.  Observing children at play with their peers opens new windows into the importance of how children progress to be likable youngsters.  Their efforts are not that different from a balanced leader; one who seeks the right attitude and skill sets to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex world.

As regular readers of this Senior Leadership Blog are aware, I volunteer to help young Boy Scouts become men who are capable of making informed, moral decisions.  This effort begins by working with the boys to teach them how to be a balanced person.1  Mental fitness, physical health, spirituality, socialization, and meaningful work are all a part of this task.  It’s not an easy task, and my hat goes off to primary school teachers who do this every day.

A truly balanced leader is one who can 1) lead people to both accomplish their missions and take responsibility for their care, as well as 2) maintain their balance (as noted above).  To sail in the choppy waters of the real world requires good decision making and that is what we teach them.  But we add to this by showing what is personally balance through maintaining good psychological, spiritual, and physical health.

Less balanced leadership methods are often unstable or unworkable.  We’ve all seen the narcissistic and self-important leader who functions best in a toxic work environment.  This person is inwardly focused, and while they might care strongly about getting the mission accomplished, they have little desire to care for their followers.

Balanced leadership means being able to convince people to agree on a common goal and then provide the vision, methods, and resources to get the job done.  This leadership is not just for big business but for all levels and sizes of organizations.  The smallest family unit, for example, is always in need of someone who can employ a balanced way to hold the family together and keep care for them.

Human negotiation is a challenge when an inexperienced and unbalanced leader is unskilled.  That is why we give our Boy Scouts many occasions to practice their leadership efforts.  We provide oversight to ensure all goes well and they do so in a safe environment.  We also never let them forget that doing the right thing, the morally right thing, is what makes the difference.


  1. When working with boys, it sometimes seems like we are working in a befuddled environment. The aspirations and motivations these young boys are bringing with them are difficult to understand and manage.  Just getting them to focus and pay attention is challenging enough but then we add the demand to burn off physical energy; this can be tiring to an older fellow like me.


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

24 thoughts on “Balanced Leadership

  1. Ronny Fisher

    Where are the positive mentors these days anyway? I hear about it all the time in primary and secondary schools that every kids should have a mentor. Well, where are they? Where are the mentors? I think these comments by teachers and school administrators is just a bunch of hogwash because they know it will never come to fruition. That explains, in part, why kids are not well balanced today.

  2. Gil Johnson

    Being a balanced person takes effort. We are constantly pulled in one direction or another. This is why we must know the path we are on in life and take careful study of when people or circumstances seems to pull us off that path.

    1. Scotty Bush

      Well said. Thank you Gil for your insight. I too know what it’s like to be pulled off the path of life and the results were ugly for me. Fortunately, with the help of family and friends I was able to get back on it and have been living well since.

  3. Lady Hawk

    Teaching boys how to be good men is a noble cause, so thank you for making that a priority in your life. We tend to ignore young children and tell them to just be quiet. That is not how one develops the young.

    1. Eddie Ray Anderson, Jr.

      Spot on comment. I was thinking the same thing.

    2. Tony B. Custer

      You got that right. I try to do the same with the young children in my neighborhood. Some of the younger adults with kids think I’m an old crank for trying to teach kids to never cheat (or steal, lie, etc.). They are, of course, wrong in their thinking. No one seems to want to set them straight. I tried on several occasions but it never seemed to stick. I will, however, not give up trying to sway those young adults to the point that cheating is not an acceptable method of getting what you want.

  4. Kenny Foster

    I’m always interested in these articles. They actually make me think more especially if I continue to read more on that same subject.

  5. The Kid 1945

    “Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.” a great quote by David Starr Jordan, scientist and educator

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      David Starr Jordan (January 19, 1851 – September 19, 1931) was an American ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and the founding president of Stanford University.
      This is from Wikipedia and I suspect most people don’t know that.

    2. Georgie M.

      David Starr Jordan was a great man, balanced, and a visionary. But there are those who would tarnish his name. You know the types, those that have no accomplishments on their own. Here is an example of a crazy that would do this. “Guest Opinion: The inconvenient truth about David Starr Jordan: On the potential renaming of a Palo Alto middle school” by Lars Johnsson. This Lars J. is the type of people who really do need an education about humanity.

  6. Lynn Pitts

    I linked to an article on “balanced leadership” below. It goes into greater detail than Gen Satterfield but doesn’t hit home with the main point that leaders are well put-together people. Yes, leaders have challenges and often make mistakes but this is the price they pay for doing what they do.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Thanks Lynn for pushing out more info on the balanced leader. I try to do this with my High School students and football players. They are always looking for ways to better themselves. Being a balanced PERSON and LEADER allows them to feel better about themselves.

  7. Dale Paul Fox

    Another good article to go with my morning coffee. Thanks Gen. Satterfield.

    1. Doug Smith

      I agree with you Dale. Short, sweet, and to the point. Easy read on important issues with leaders today.

  8. Army Captain

    I agree, if you are not a well-rounded leader, you will have a hard go at being a good leader.

    1. Scotty Bush

      Good to see you on this morning. Hope all has been well with you, your family, and military career.

  9. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Thanks for your effort to teach young boys the right ways of manhood. You are to be commended.

    1. Bill Sanders, Jr.

      … and right so. Working with the young can be frustrating but more rewarding.

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