By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you better cope with friction. Reading time: 2:26.
Remember how much fun you had as a kid rubbing your hair with a balloon and sticking it on the wall ? I do. Oh, how fascinated I was when I first saw a balloon clinging to the wall with the magic of static electricity. But later I saw the power of opposites in that hair-raising demonstration that still reminds me of key leadership skill: diversity.
Diversity? Sure. The negatively charged electrons in my hair were naturally attracted to their complete opposite: a positive charge on the wall.
Learning that opposites attract in electricity got me to thinking more about the awesome power of diversity.
Indeed the more I learned about electricity the better I understood how leaders connect opposites to generate even greater power.
Here’s an example: Friction is usually something most people would want less of in their lives. Not leaders. They generate friction. On purpose. It’s the friction that stirs continuous improvement and energy.
Likewise in static electricity, it’s the friction that gets those negatively charged electrons to move on the balloon to stick on the wall.
And of course it is the lack of friction that causes that balloon to come crashing down when the diversity degrades into homogeneity: when all the free negatively charged electrons hook up with positively charged mates and become neutral.
That’s because the electricity stays in one place. It stopped moving. That’s why it’s called static. So a leader’s job is to keep the electrons moving. From negative to positive. With diversity .That’s why the most effective leaders generate friction. The more friction the more they move those electrons in a current that flows confidently even when it meets resistance, with the conviction of a leader. In fact like determined leaders, electricity flowing in a current meets resistance head on.
Electricians know that bulb lights only when the current meets resistance that gives off the heat that burns the light. Likewise, the most effective leaders I have known welcome resistance, encourage diversity, create friction, and want to share their power often over long distances.
That’s why the most effective leaders don’t hoard their power like so many batteries stashed away in so many secret compartments. The most effective leaders are only too willing conduct their power long distances over” high transmission lines” to reach millions.
And the most effective leaders fully understand the importance of stepping down that power so that it can be safely used by their followers. These most effective leaders transform that power so that others can electrify their thinking.
Even off-the-wall thinking. With a balloon.
Seek diversity to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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