The physics of leadership

30 03 2016

“The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.” ~Benjamin Spock

Parenting and leadership go easier with an understanding of physics.  Taking the energy of your kids or team, and vectoring it towards a collective goal takes patience and skill.  Kids just can’t stop, as their energy (sugar-fueled, or not) is just amazing.  It can be a little harder with your team.  They’re paid to show up and work, but it’s your job to ensure that the work is productive, instead of counter-productive.

I’ve had several times when, just outside my office, people are laughing and carrying on.  I’ve walked floors and seen the majority of a team standing up and talking about some event, or just telling stories.  Our job as leaders is not to stop all enjoyment of the job, but to ensure that while any good times are going on, the job is getting done, too.  Sometimes that means the team has to be reminded to log back onto their phones, or nudged toward a deadline that is reasonable, challenging and attainable.  And sometimes, that means that you have to be “Debby Downer”, by putting an end to the socialization, and getting them back to work.  You, as the leader, are the primary one who knows if the socialization is impacting your productivity or not.  Find the balance in running a team that likes each other enough to chat & exchange ideas, occasionally, while also buckling down and working towards a shared goal.

Speaking of supplies…

Supparty

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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