When looking at the most successful companies in the world, we can see they combine the ability and flexibility to face urgent short term challenges (building), with a focus on the important long-term challenges, even when there seems to be no urgent need (shaping).

The ability to understand when a decision pertains to an either/or dilemma – in which the best trade-off needs to be struck - and when it is a both/and paradox – in which a synthesis between both sides needs to be created – is what constitutes great leadership.

Leaders often have a preference for one side of the paradox (i.e. the Chief Entrepreneurial Officer is outside-in oriented, focused on exploration and shaping, while the Chief Organizing Officer displays the opposite characteristics).

In order to become a truly great leader, one needs to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and form a leadership duo with a counterpart that has a natural aptitude regarding the opposite characteristics.

Which is strange as many of the world’s best led companies, governments, but also much of the world’s best known artists and scientists, are on closer inspection organized in a dual leadership structure. This academic observation is translated into a practical approach to directly benefit the participants.





A novel perspective on strategic decision making and corresponding leadership configurations

Examples from many different industries, countries and era’s – from Bob De Wit’s own experience and from well documented cases

A translation to a practical application, attuned to personal learning questions



We like all participants to send us a one page description of a problem they are currently working on, in which they believe the class could help them. A template will be provided for this pre-class assignment.

“Strategy Profiler” is used to help participants to gauge their personal preference on each of the 12 strategy paradoxes. This helps, in particular in the dual leadership story, to make explicit the need for a dual leadership structure and defines what they need to look for in a partner.

During class

We will ask the participants to use the visioning tool – the vision map – to formulate a desirable future regarding the problem they have brought to class. At the end of the program, we will make very explicit how the insights they have gathered will contribute to this desired future.


Based on this approach, we have found that participants also look at other participants who are at similar positions and face similar problems. We like to encourage this by turning the group into a community of sorts.



The module is designed for

  • Those who want to improve their ability to take strategic decisions
  • Those who want to make a greater impact by forming a golden duo
  •  Those who want to learn more about the strategy process and how to leverage the different leadership configurations 


Furthermore, small classes greatly increase the opportunity to engage with participants and give ample space for their personal questions. Therefore the participant capacity is limited. 




Prof. Dr. Bob De Wit

Professor of Strategic Leadership at Nyenrode Business Universiteit

Co-Director of the Center for Strategy at Nyenrode Business Universiteit