By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s a reminder that your span of control is limited. Reading time: 1:24
Try this says one leader to the other: “Lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it. Now, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand.”
The second executive tries to comply but to no avail. As soon as she tries to draw the number 6 and twirl her foot clockwise, her foot changes direction. She tries again. Same result.
Doctors say this is a pre-programmed response in your brain. No matter what you do you cannot override it.
You can’t outsmart your right foot when you are trying to write the number 6 in the air. You’ve been preprogrammed. Your response is always dialed in. You have no choice.
Doctors also have studied a related exercise: try to simultaneously rotate the index fingers of both hands in the same direction (clockwise or anticlockwise). Do it slowly at first, then faster, and faster. Pretty soon, they’re going in opposite directions.
The twirling legs and fingers exercises illustrates a leadership thinking tenent: that some things are so hard-wired, it makes no sense to try to change it.
The most effective leaders focus only on what they can change, what they can influence. Naturally. The leadership lesson is clear: Pick your fights– strategically —with a credible vision and an achievable mission.
That’s what leaders do. Then they will more readily get a leg up on the competition. Then they will more readily circle the competition — clockwise or counter-clockwise. And then they will more readily achieve their objective: Twirling a Deep Six weapon of choice in any direction.
Beware of predictive thinking to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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