Tim Arnold

Tim Arnold

Leadership Development and Teambuilding Expert

Leaders and teams are often in a tug-of-war, facing competing demands such as planning vs. action, structure vs. flexibility, change vs. stability, and work vs. home. In order to thrive, they must tackle these tensions head on. Tim Arnold provides his audiences with powerful tools that help them understand and breakthrough the chronic issues they face in both their professional and personal lives.

Arnold has spent over two decades helping organizations unite teams, spark change, and get unstuck, with clients that include The United Nations, Citibank, KPMG, Toyota, and Siemens.

Drawing on his experiences launching successful businesses, social enterprises, and community development programs, Arnold brings a real-world perspective to his clients.  With advanced degrees in both business and social justice, he is able to help organizations pursue both profit and purpose.

Arnold is the author of the bestselling book, The Power of Healthy Tension: Overcoming Chronic Issues and Conflicting Values.


The Power of Healthy Tension: Thriving in a World of Increased Polarization and Complexity

Leaders are ineffective when they can’t navigate conflicting points of view. Tim Arnold helps you understand the chronic issues that hold back leadership and teamwork so you can thrive!

As leaders, we often treat every challenge as a problem to be solved, with a right or wrong answer: Planning or Action? Structure or Flexibility? Change or Stability? But this “either/or” thinking is a dangerous trap! To be a better leader — both at work and at home — we need to realize that many of life’s challenges are tensions to be managed.

“The Power of Healthy Tension” provides a simple framework that allows leaders to tap into the power of “both/and” thinking. By doing this, we gain a massive competitive advantage, and move from surviving to thriving.

Key Learnings:

  • Embrace Diverse Perspectives: Gain the ability to work effectively with people who have different opinions and perspectives than your own.
  • Communicate More Effectively: Learn the difference between a problem to solve and a tension to manage, and the skills required to communicate conflicting points of view.
  • Make Better Decisions: Learn a thoughtful and deliberate decision-making approach when dealing with complex issues.

Why It Delivers:

  • Relevant and Timely: It feels like the world around us is becoming more polarized each day. Embracing healthy tension has never been more critical to success.
  • Practical and Actionable: Real-world examples make sense of the framework and provide skills you can apply right away.
  • Interactive and Fun: No one wants to attend another boring talk. Audience interaction and just the right amount of humour bring the keynote to life and make it memorable.

**Please note that this presentation can also be adapted into a workshop.

The Leaders Edge

Program Length: 1 To 3 Hours

In today’s fast-paced and competitive workplace, to move beyond survival and mediocrity we must become highly effective leaders. This is true whether we are responsible for leading other people or simply need to provide ownership and vision to the project that we are responsible for.

At times, the pressures of leadership can be overwhelming and have us wondering if we have what it takes. The great news is that effective leadership can be developed!

“The Leaders Edge” is an experiential keynote that will equip participants with the skills and confidence needed to take their leadership to the next level. Relevant business theory will be brought to life through interactive activities and discussions, so that participants can develop strategies that will help them to move forward with all the leadership challenges that they face.

Throughout the keynote address, participants will be introduced to three core skills that are foundational to having The Leader’s Edge:

  1. Growth Mindset: Becoming a real-time and life-long learner.
  2. Full Engagement: Leveraging strengths for a competitive advantage.
  3. Healthy Tension: Managing complexity, chronic issues, and conflicting values.

Each skill will be introduced through a combination of current business models and real-world examples. The skills will then be brought to life through a fun and insightful experiential challenge that will get participants out of their seats, interacting, and learning together.

The keynote will conclude with an opportunity for everyone to transfer the concepts to the “real world“ by developing a personal action plan. This will provide the confidence and strategy needed to move forward in harnessing The Leader’s Edge.

The Power of Healthy Tension: Thriving in a World of Increased Polarization and Complexity

Leaders are ineffective when they can’t navigate conflicting points of view. Tim Arnold helps you understand the chronic issues that hold back leadership and teamwork so you can thrive!

As leaders, we often treat every challenge as a problem to be solved, with a right or wrong answer: Planning or Action? Structure or Flexibility? Change or Stability? But this “either/or” thinking is a dangerous trap! To be a better leader — both at work and at home — we need to realize that many of life’s challenges are tensions to be managed.

“The Power of Healthy Tension” provides a simple framework that allows leaders to tap into the power of “both/and” thinking. By doing this, we gain a massive competitive advantage, and move from surviving to thriving.

Key Learnings:

  • Embrace Diverse Perspectives: Gain the ability to work effectively with people who have different opinions and perspectives than your own.
  • Communicate More Effectively: Learn the difference between a problem to solve and a tension to manage, and the skills required to communicate conflicting points of view.
  • Make Better Decisions: Learn a thoughtful and deliberate decision-making approach when dealing with complex issues.

Why It Delivers:

  • Relevant and Timely: It feels like the world around us is becoming more polarized each day. Embracing healthy tension has never been more critical to success.
  • Practical and Actionable: Real-world examples make sense of the framework and provide skills you can apply right away.
  • Interactive and Fun: No one wants to attend another boring talk. Audience interaction and just the right amount of humour bring the keynote to life and make it memorable.

VIRTUAL KEYNOTE: The Power of Healthy Tension: Thriving in a World of Increased Polarization and Complexity

As a leader, you’re solving hundreds of problems a day. From email responses to critical project decisions, you keep your organization moving forward.

But every now and then you encounter a tension: Planning vs. action? Structure vs. flexibility? Change vs. stability? Cost vs. quality? Work vs. home?

It’s different. It’s unsolvable. It’s ongoing. It keeps surfacing over and over. And if you approach a tension like it’s a problem to solve, it won’t work. You’ll end up further and further from what you’re trying to achieve.

To be a better leader — both at work and home — we need to realize that many of life’s challenges are tensions, and managing tension requires a different approach.

“The Power of Healthy Tension” provides a simple framework to manage tension in a healthy way. It allows leaders to tap into the expansive power of “and” thinking, and, in doing so, gain a massive competitive advantage and next-level results.

VIRTUAL KEYNOTE: The Leader's Edge: A Secret Advantage to Achieving Next-Level Results

At times, the pressures of leadership can be overwhelming and have us wondering if we have what it takes. The great news is that effective leadership can be developed.

In “The Leader’s Edge”, Tim Arnold equips participants with the skills and confidence needed to take their leadership to the next level.

Participants will be introduced to three core skills:

  • Growth mindset: Becoming a real-time and life-long learner.
  • Full engagement: Leveraging strengths for a competitive advantage.
  • Healthy tension: Managing complexity, chronic issues, and conflicting values.

Each skill will be introduced through a combination of current business models and real-world examples. They will then be brought to life through a fun and insightful virtual challenge that will get your team participating, interacting, and learning together. This keynote concludes with participants developing a personal action plan to transfer learned concepts to the real world.

VIRTUAL KEYNOTE: Leading Against the Current: The Secret to Resilience and Results During Challenging Times

As a leader, you are committed to delivering results and making a difference. The problem is it often feels like you’re fighting an uphill battle against broken systems and impossible demands. This can leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Your work is important, and the world needs leadership now more than ever. You deserve the tools to successfully stay in the game and enjoy the adventure.

The secret is to embrace the very thing that you are probably avoiding… tension. When you learn to successfully understand, assess, and leverage the three tensions that every great leader must inevitably face, everything starts to change.

  • Tension #1: Being optimistic AND realistic
  • Tension #2: Embracing change AND preserving stability
  • Tension #3: Caring for others AND caring for yourself

You don’t have to settle for a watered-down version of your mission and vision. There are simple and practical ways to avoid becoming jaded and bitter, or even worse, throwing in the towel altogether. Learn how to successfully do the work you love while still enjoying the life you lead.

This presentation can be a one-hour keynote or two-hour workshop.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Leveraging Tension for Leadership Success

As leaders, we often treat every challenge as a problem to be solved, with a right or wrong answer. Preserve stability or stimulate change? Manage cost or maintain quality? Centralized coordination or decentralized freedom? Work or home?

But this “either/or” thinking is a dangerous trap! To be more effective — both at work and home — we need to realize that many of life’s challenges are tensions to be managed.

This workshop provides a simple framework that allows teams to tap into the power of “and” thinking. By doing this, we gain a massive competitive advantage and move from surviving to thriving.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Healthy Communication: Conquer Conflict, Speak with Courage, and Embrace Feedback

Communication is the foundation of high performing teams and successful leadership. Unfortunately, effective communication is easier said than done.

With the growing speed in which teams work, and the challenges associated with email and technology, healthy communication is increasingly difficult to find in today’s workplace.

This workshop helps overcome these challenges by showing participants how to embrace the type of conversations often avoided — giving and receiving feedback, dealing with conflict, and managing diverse opinions.

Additional Offerings

In addition to virtual keynotes and workshops, Tim Arnold offers customizable team Lunch and Learns, as well as more in-depth, six-month virtual Online Leadership Development Programs.

Contact Speakers’ Spotlight for more information on these additional offerings.