Welcome to Tension
Join the New Leadership Movement of Curiosity and Wonder.
What if we stopped reading the same old business books full of fluff and time-wasting allegories and approached business and life head-on with curiosity and nuance?
Tension is for those of us who’ve read every single leadership book and article that gives us just only one way to do things — but we’re ready to hold opposing ideas at once. It’s an exploration of where curiosity and wonder can take us. It’s learning from tensions like:
Accountability vs. Empathy
Work vs. Family
People vs. Profit
Curiosity vs. Confidence
Following vs. Leading
If you subscribe, you’ll receive one weekly essay and one weekly podcast episode interviewing CEOs, thought leaders, theologians, and experts that dives into a new tension we all face in our lives.
In 2021, I read an unbelievable book: The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin. Roger Martin gave me a world-class mental model and framework far more powerful and broader than the previous attempts I had writing about the tensions of “mission and margin”.
In fact, that’s the key word: tension.
It’s the title of this Substack. We’ll explore the challenges that leaders and business owners face, but I’ll also dig into some of the specifics around an even broader group of people and their ability to handle complex situations, refuse to accept bad trade-offs, and come up with absolutely incredible solutions and third ways that no one could have seen before.
“Could there be tension in the culture wars where we are currently being offered awful trade-offs and poor options where embracing tension leads to an innovation we could never have dreamed about?”
In its essence, I want to talk to people who see the world in a far more nuanced way than just, well, right or left, or even black or white.
Yes, there is absolute truth, but too often we get sucked into “That’s just the way it is” and accepting the sub-optimal “either/or” dichotomies instead of potentially accepting a “both/and” solution.
There are countless examples, like Southwest Airlines' attempt to be both a low-fare and cheaper carrier while attempting to be at the top when it came to both customer and employee satisfaction. At face value, this makes absolutely no sense. Accepting what appeared as opposable goals forced Southwest to innovate and create solutions others couldn’t see.
I believe there are these types of solutions in far more areas than just business — even, perhaps, in the flaming abyss of politics.
Could there be more than just right vs. left? Could there be tension in the culture wars where we are currently offered awful trade-offs and poor options where embracing tension leads to an innovation we never could have dreamed about?
Why should you Subscribe?
Subscribe to Tension for thought-provoking insights that challenge and elevate your heart, mind, and soul.
Free subscribers have access to:
Weekly Podcast episode with a leader, thinker, theologian, or thought leader on tension
Weekly Essay on life's "either/or" dilemmas: work vs. family, people vs. profit.
Insights into balancing mission and margin in business.
Creative mental models for success.
Strategies for work/life harmony and personal growth.
Occasional updates with links, deep articles, and life insights.
Get the discounted $70 annual subscription to receive:
Access to new and archived writings for constant inspiration.
Bonus "Tension Podcast" content (exclusive video, audio, transcripts, and more).
Exclusive podcast episodes and deep dives with guests.
Member-only giveaways and special content.
Support the creation and distribution of transformative content.
Select Calendly Link for 1 Free Coaching/Consulting Session with Tim Sweetman
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Tim has served in leadership roles in both the non-profit and for-profit world. Prior to becoming a Chick-fil-A Owner/Operator, Tim was a writer and blogger and has worked in communications, brand strategy, and leadership development. He has a B.A. in Counseling from Boyce College and is a graduate of the altMBA program, developed by Seth Godin.
Tim’s written work has appeared various magazines blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, and his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Magazine. His writings were quoted and featured in Nancy Pearcey’s second book, Saving Leonardo.
In 2022 he launched “Mission & Margin,” a podcast dedicated to talking to business owners and thought leaders about the challenge of reconciling the needs of a business with the desire of leaders to take care of their people and customers. It’s been re-launched as The Tension Podcast.
Originally a Maryland native, Tim lives in Delaware with his family.
What readers and listeners say
“When I look for people to listen to, I look for people who are so dedicated and so bought in to their message that they are willing to lay aside their ego, brand, and logo to push their message forward. Tim LIVES in that humility, and his message is pure & powerful because of it. You can listen in full faith knowing Tim will guide you to truth.” — Listener, “Humble, Truthful, Powerful”
“I listen to a lot of leadership and entrepreneur podcasts, and outside of a few top figures, this media landscape is oversaturated with truly shallow and even vapid content. I appreciate how Tim avoids cliches and mantras and gets to deep and specific traits and skills on how to lead well. Excellent show.” — Listener, “A Leadership Podcast That Isn't Shallow and Cliché”
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