Sunday, December 13, 2009

How are a Gas Balloon and Leadership alike?

I have been wanting to write about this for a while.  I recall sitting in my office early this year and drawing on a napkin a picture of a helium balloon with the sandbags on the side.  The science of a gas balloon is such that to fly higher," the pilot throws out ballast—like sand (sandbags)or water".  The picture for me included the sandbags on the side of the balloon.

To me, this science is very similar to a leader's desire to 'fly higher'.  While gas balloons need to let go of some of the weight (sandbags) to fly higher, so must leaders.  I know that there are many times I allow 'sandbags' to keep me from flying higher.  These manifest themselves in some of the weaknesses recently pointed out to me by my friends when I asked them directly for feedback:

1.  Creates self imposed limitations due to historical situations.
2.  Expecting too little of others
3.  Can get seduced by the "good guy" and lose sight of the impact on the overall vision
4.  Allowing others to take advantage of my time and my desire to help them succeed.
5.  Unjustified lack of self confidence

These self-imposed sandbags are ones that I vow to 'let go of' so that I may 'fly higher' in 2010 as a leader and so that I can have an even more powerful impact on those around me.  I would expect that my choices (and my blogging) in 2010 will support this desire.  I encourage you to ask me and challenge me on how I am doing with this goal. 

So, what are YOUR 'sandbags' that you carry around that keep you from flying higher? 

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