Star-gazers sense the awesome power and presence of light traveling 6 trillion miles a year for 4.367 years from our nearest star (Alpha Centauri) to finally come into our view.
But leaders see much more than meets the eye. They also factor the affect of the empty space between the stars. That “empty” space is full of something — something that governs the behavior of the stars.
In fact the space between the two flickering stars “is not nothing” as author Daniel Shapiro points out in his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable. “It contains the gravitational pull that shapes their relationship.”
That gravitation pull of the spaces between the stars is critically significant in defining most objects not simply in defining the stars as Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse’s observed:
“Thirty spokes meet in the hub but the empty space between them is the essence of the wheel.
“Pots are formed from clay but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot.
“Walls with windows and doors form the house but the empty space within is the essence of the house.
“And so, we see advantage is had from whatever is there but usefulness rises from whatever is not.”
Indeed, usefulness in a bicycle wheel stems from whatever is not there — the spaces — between the spokes. It is that space that ultimately governs the strength of each spoke. Likewise it is the follower who ultimately governs the strength of the leader, according to Keith Grint, a professor of public leadership at Warwick University in Coventry, England.
“In short, the power of leaders is a consequence of the actions of followers rather than a cause of it,” Grint says. “In effect, leadership is the property and the consequence of a community rather than of an individual.”
Likewise a leader is sanctioned only when others are aligned to follow in much the same way a wheel will spin only when the spaces (followers) are correctly — and collectively – -aligned to support the spokes (the leader). Both need each other.
On terra firma or beyond in the celestial heavens.
For more information on how you can enhance your leadership space — your pull on others — wherever you are, purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) from Amazon.com on examples from business, sports and politics.
It’s titled: THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity.