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How often have you heard “opposites attract”? We experience and believe it scientifically and even in love relationships. “I believe unresolved patterns attract,” says Paul Cutright, author of You’re Never Upset for the Reason You Think. Paul and Layne Cutright run the Center for Enlightened Partnerships in Las Vegas. “What most people call falling in love is really falling in pattern,” he says. “Relationships are about getting our own needs met, often on an unconscious basis. In other words, we try to find someone who is complementary to us and can help us learn, heal, and grow.”

In business leadership, do opposites attract and “fall into pattern”? Don’t we need to learn, heal, and grow in business as well? Can opposite personality types or differing brain-based strengths lead to better leadership, happier customers, and satisfied employees? And after the initial attraction, how best to maintain effective communication and how to ensure productivity results?

My entrepreneurial clientele is replete with senior leaders who founded, built, and successfully led companies leveraging opposite strengths and personalities. Their planning, decisions, and project execution across the delivery functions benefit enormously from leveraging differences. Said one company founder in telecommunications, “As CEO I need to lead the company but that doesn’t mean I have to run the company.” His choice for president of the business possesses a different and more process-oriented set of gifts and skills, which complement his own visionary strengths that created the start-up and keeps it strategically positioned. The president’s skills and strengths allow it to thrive by installing and managing excellent infrastructure.

Similarly, a not-for-profit client that has grown significantly over 30+ years is led by the founding visionary and run by a supporting cast of talented executives who excel at process improvement, project management, and client-facing responsibilities. Their award-winning results educating children from hard places proves the point. Differences make all the difference.

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