By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you gain momentum. Reading time: 2:25
“Weeeeeee,” giggled the 6-year-old boy flying so freely on the playground swing. “My stomach tickles.”
No wonder the little boy giggled even louder when he later saw the flying trapeze artist at the circus swinging with the greatest of ease.
That flying trapeze artist would go on to teach all of us that day a counter-intuitive lesson in leadership: to get a stronger grip on the ladder of success, first let go.
Watching the flying trapeze artist at the circus, the boy already knew the feeling of exhilaration from the acceleration of a swing, the sense of negative G’s that slosh your organs around to tickle your tummy.
The boy already knew the sense of freedom in flying high on a swing toward new vistas, new horizons, new visions, defying gravity with a demonstration of both kinetic and potential energy.
And the boy already knew the sense of personal power he exhibited in personally pumping his legs on a swing to get higher and higher to see farther and farther.
Swinging With the Greatest of Ease
But no playground swing could have prepared the boy for understanding the counter-intuitive power that flying trapeze artists exhibit to get a grip on a higher swing.
They let go.
They let go of a lot more than their trapeze swings. They let go of themselves. They let go of their inner tension that provokes them to resist change, to fight change, to guard against change.
They relax. They go with the flow. They let their bodies become extensions of the changing dynamics of the swing.
And in a pendulum-like process they built a momentum — a momentum that can swing them faster and faster, a momentum that can thrust them higher and higher—3 to 5 feet higher.
By letting go.
Instead of grabbing for that swing, instead of grabbing for the next higher rung, they let go to grow and counter-intuitively get a stronger grip on their situation, on their behavior, on their performance.
Instead of forcing change, they finesse change.
Instead of commanding “my way or the highway,” they seek out your way on the freeway.
Instead of pushing even harder down on a personal idea, policy or position, they pull up slowly and thoughtfully and look around inquisitively for an even more creative idea.
Instead of driving their ideas faster and faster –even forward into a ditch or a rut, they stop and then rock their vehicle in reverse. They question the validity of their ideas; they seek out other opinions and they seem to go backward in driving their argument. Yet counter-intuitively they build the momentum they need to go forward even more confidently to reach their higher destination.
In letting go, they counter-intuitively gain their mojo. In letting go, they counter-intuitively inspire a greater sense of connecting with others. And in letting go to grow their mojo, leaders swing higher on the swing of success and broaden their focus from me to we.
With a “weeeeeeeee.”
Let go to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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