Episode One – Introduction to the Tensions of Leadership

Welcome to Episode One of the Tensions of Leadership: What is a tension, what causes tension, and how to RESOLVE these leadership tensions!

Click here to review a transcript of Episode One!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode One:

1. What do we mean by tensions? What exactly is a tension in the context of leadership? Don’t forget that leadership is a skilled profession that requires discipline and practice…but what tensions to leaders face when they advance their leadership practice?

2. Tensions are things you, as a leader, have to resolve before you can advance in your leadership career.

3. How do you know when you are actually facing a tension? You are being prompted to do something, and you will either take action, or you will do nothing. Are you willing?

4. We will learn that the secret to being a successful leaders is learning to recognize these tensions, and then knowing what to do, and how to do it! In other words, leadership tensions are a good thing — they give you direction (an entry point).

5. Learning to tell the difference between distress and eustress!

6. Next, what causes leadership tension? An expectation of you that’s a stretch beyond your readiness; priorities are not aligned, for example.

7. The key to not allow the tension to become a pain point!

8. So, now you have tension, what do you do? (and note that a leader can choose to not take action, just as long as you do it conscious discipline, but communicate so people know why you made that decision).

9. When tensions become pain points, you lose focus, you decrease productivity, you lose creativity. Now when you take on the tension in a positive way, you move forward, and that’s the goal!

10. The internal battle you have to face when choosing to face on a tension is are you willing to take a risk, overcome personal resistance, and are you willing to be vulnerable. The external is that you have to communicate and articulate your choice to others around you.

11. Modern business leaders cannot succeed if you are NOT willing to take risks, overcome resistance, and be vulnerable. The new reality!

12. How to RESOLVE tensions: CHOICE (you can do this OR that); INTEGRATE (you can do this AND that); SEQUENCE (you can this AND THEN that).

13. Finally, we discuss some of the actual tensions we’ll discuss over the course of Season Four, when it comes to leading yourself, leading teams, and leading organizations.

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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Todd Schnick

Todd Schnick

Editor-In-Chief at intrepid.media
Founder and Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA, Todd Schnick is a media + business strategist and talk show host + producer. He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist. Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.
Todd Schnick
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The author

Founder and Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA, Todd Schnick is a media + business strategist and talk show host + producer. He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist. Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.

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