07 Jan Gravity of Leadership
By Craig Johns.
Your Gravity of Leadership has the power to create or destroy, inspire or dishearten, empower or restrict, include or exclude, thrive or struggle, be present or distant, fight or flight, strengthen or weaken and grow or wither away.
I’m curious, how are you perceived as a leader? Good, average or bad?
I don’t believe people intentionally set out to become bad leaders who create toxic environments that negatively impacts their employees, team, community, friends or family members lives.
In most cases people set out with the intention to be good leaders who make the right decisions, support their people and enhance their team, community or company they are involved in.
However, we all know that the intention of being a good leader does not always match the reality of the situation.
Whether it be the influence of environments leaders have worked in, childhood beliefs, a lack of leadership training or an unconscious lack of self or situational awareness, leaders can have quite a detrimental and negative impact even though they are trying their best to lead the people around them,
What I have found is that when you are conscious and intentional about your leadership, you can increase the chances of your Gravity of Leadership having a positive impact and influence on people, teams and companies.
WHEN DELTA AIRLINES PLUMMETED FROM THE SKIES
Let’s take a look at Delta Airlines, who were once famous for their customer service excellence. The leaders introduced cost-saving measures that slashed corporate training budgets and staff perks, led to an almost overnight collapse.
Famously known for their smiles, Delta Airlines employees became grumpy and no longer motivated to care about their customers. As you can imagine, the result was customer voting with their feet and moving to competitor airlines who placed high value on customer services.
Within 3 years, Delta Airlines went from being routinely voted by passengers as one of the top 3 airlines in America to filing for bankruptcy. They were rescued, but have never regained the trust and loyalty of passengers, even after rebuilding the old culture of hospitality and excellent services.
One decision, by the leadership team, was all it took to create a seismic event that went off the Richter scale. Their Gravity of Leadership and a long lasting legacy effect that they are still paying for.
WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF YOUR DECISIONS, BEHAVIOURS, ATTITUDES, CHOICES AND OPINIONS?
As a leader your impact either draws people together or pushes people away. The strength of your impact can vary from being barely noticeable to extremely dramatic and therefore determines how slow or fast you pull people towards each other or push them away. It’s like a combination of gravity that pulls people in and a magnet that either repels or attracts people.
Gravity comes from the latin word gravitas that means ‘weight’, which is derived from its latin root of gravis meaning ‘heavy’. In regards to human beings, the greater your gravitas the heavier the weight your ideas, influence and authority have on people.
But your gravity of leadership is much more than just gravitas. If we look at gravity, it is the universal force that attracts objects in space towards each other. On planet earth, gravity is the force that pulls objects towards the centre of the planet. In leadership, your Gravity Of Leadership is not only the strength of force on people, but also acts like a magnet where you can either pull people together or push them away.
HOW CAN YOU SHIFT YOUR GRAVITY OF LEADERSHIP?
Your own Gravity of Leadership has the ability to create a culture that has a powerful feeling of inclusiveness, belonging and connectedness. The choices you take and the decisions you make can have a positive impact on the people you lead and serve.
How you lead can leave an influential lasting legacy beyond your lifetime. Your Gravity of Leadership is quite often silent and you may not be aware of the positive and negative impact you are creating.
Being conscious and intentional about how you lead others and yourself is an important start to shifting your gravity of leadership. How much impact are you prepared for and willing to create through your leadership? How do you want to be perceived as a leader?
Think about a critical mass of people moving and working towards something better would be like gravity – difficult to resist, difficult to fight, and if you do, you’ll be shot off into stratosphere all by yourself!
So what is it that creates an irresistible gravitational pull as a leader?
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