challenging others

Leadership

Pushing Them (and Pulling Them)


No Comments

I had the chance to facilitate with a dear colleague today, who provided an insight that gave me further clarity into the poem I referenced a few days ago. 

From my initial vantage point, I saw only the perspective of “pushing” others–challenging them to greater heights, better things, previously unexperienced outcomes.  This is my natural bent as a leader, but it is/was myopic.

My friend’s observations about pushing and pulling as leaders made me think about how we have to attract people to begin with, gain their trust and permission to lead before we can begin to push.

In the poem, the speaker (leader) calls twice for them to come to the edge.  He invites them, entices them, inspires them perhaps, but somehow he gains their following.  It is only after this pulling that he pushes, and they fly.

A concept we would do well to remember so as to avoid pushing those whose allegiance to us, trust in us, has not yet been confirmed.

Leadership

Pushing Them


No Comments

Come to the edge, He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came.  He pushed them,

And they flew…

-Guillaume Apollinaire

A beautiful poem, and a lovely leadership lesson also: knowing how and when to push is nearly as important as anything else to leading well. 

For how else can we be responsible for others’ flight?