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Balancing Act: The Tough Nut, The Modern Empathic, and You

Caught in the balancing act between the 'Tough Nut' and 'Modern Empathic'?

Been there myself - We all juggle these roles, often missing the perfect balance.

Let’s crack this together."

What kind of Alpha Leader are you?

A "Tough Nut," always strong and ready, or a "Modern Empathic," always understanding and patient?

I've been both at different times in my career.

There were times when I spoke too harshly, damaging relationships with colleagues.

Other times, I feared speaking up because I didn't want to destroy more connections.

The outcome? A loss for everyone involved.

Does this sound familiar?

Now, I work with leaders who struggle to balance the two.

I’ve realized that when Alphas display disdain or harm towards the small and vulnerable, they just reveal their repression and dissociation from their own vulnerable aspects.

Is that you?

See how the following points resonate with you or someone you know (particularly men).

Alpha’s tend to fall into one of two extremes: the overly hardened conventional leader, I call them Tough Nuts, or the excessively sensitive one, the Modern Empathic.

  • The Tough Nuts armor themselves by hardening and repressing softer emotions such as sadness and grief.

  • The Modern Empathic, in contrast, overly embrace their softer emotions while dissociating from raw power and more forceful passions.

Both types suffer from suppression of emotions:

The “Modern Empathic” represses his anger, while the “Tough Nut” neglects sadness or grief. They often war with themselves:

  • Either projecting their inner conflicts onto the environment (like a manager who's unsure of his abilities and redirects this uncertainty into harsh criticism of his team),

  • Or trying to change their environment from a safe distance, sidestepping their responsibilities (like a leader scared of conflicts who attempts to soothe disagreements indirectly instead of stepping in).

Do you recognize any of these patterns in your behavior?

Now that we've identified the problem let's dive into the solutions - Moving from a Tough Nut to a Balanced Attitude:

  • Recognize and understand your tendency to suppress emotions like sadness or grief.

  • Practice listening to others' perspectives and feelings, even if you don't agree.

  • Share your feelings or fears in appropriate settings to connect with others more deeply.

  • Remain calm and present in situations where you might typically put up your defenses.

Moving from a Modern Empathic to a More Assertive Attitude:

  • Acknowledge when you're overly agreeable or avoiding stating your opinion.

  • Express yourself in a respectful yet confident manner. Use "I" statements to share your views.

  • Define what behavior towards you is acceptable. It's okay to say no when necessary.

  • Role-play scenarios where you have to exercise authority to help you grow more comfortable showing your power when needed.

Balancing the 'Tough Nut' and 'Modern Empathic' roles is more than just personal growth; it benefits your entire team and organization.

However, please don't overlook the personal transformation it brings. From my experience, embracing this balance leads to a more satisfying life, a healthier leadership style, and better team dynamics.

Remember, as you transform and grow, so does the world around you.



You're an Alpha Leader - brilliant, driven, formidable. But what about the emotional landscape of leadership? It can sometimes strain relationships and team dynamics.

Here is where I come in.

Together, we'll shape you into an Empathic Alpha Leader, where strength meets understanding, and decisiveness pairs with empathy.

Start your journey to empathic leadership today.



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