The power of pressure on the lever – a bit of physics fun
As we move through “graduation season” at Affectus it is a great time to reflect on “what next” for our graduates.
We spend time discussing how to leverage the life-changing, new-direction-setting leadership experiences to courageously alter your world for the better.
Our facilitators ask people to make a commitment and to publicly state what they are going to focus on now. And we remain committed to continuing the conversation about leadership leverage.
I have found it helpful to sometimes blend my first career as a science educator with my passion “leadership learning” and in the case of leadership, I head back to Physics 101.
Leverage is all about the effort and moving a load to a new place.
Now I am not going rabbit on too long with my physics lesson. I wasn’t actually very good at Physics but I did understand the simple seesaw lever concept. But it is valuable to think through the concept of levering within a framework that makes sense. That is, a plank on a fulcrum with pushing on one end to change the position of the opposite end.
If you have been part of a leadership program or experience perhaps you have had the option to build teams and take action during the program. And reflect on the process you have developed and tested. Perhaps you have also had an opportunity, toward the conclusion, to future-gaze and consider what next – for you and for your passion.
I have often thought when I have completed life-changing activities – so what next and where to now.
This is where leverage comes into its own.
But let’s think it through. It is at that point, that point of “I could do anything”, that point that your effort can be most effectively used. How can you make the most of this moment? There will be more just like it. But there is something extra exciting about the energy we carry with us as we leave a leadership program.
Here is my thinking…I wonder what you think?
Affectus’ Leadership Leverage
Step 1 – Understanding Effort
Work out what it is you are wanting to shift. What do you want to change? We could call this a “change plank”. Then you need to consider how to use the plank to get others to move.
Step 2 – Clarity about Effort
Get clarity about your affect. Talk it out. Test your thinking. Hone it to a refined concept.
Step 3 – Understanding Effort
Understand the personal effort you will need to put in to create the change. What time is required? What skills are needed? What is the necessary knowledge?
Step 4 – Group Effort
Relook at the effort and consider how to increase that effort by bringing other people in. People who understand the change that you are hoping for.
Step 5 – Build the Fulcrum
The fulcrum is the pivot point on which the seesaw sits (a simple lever). I like to imagine the fulcrum as all the additional people who will understand the change needed as we share the need. We need to consider who might these people be and where are they. Then we can share the idea and bring them together.
Step 6 - Position the Fulcrum
I see the people who we share the change with as a coordinated collection putting their combined hands under the “change plank” at just the right point – close to me or a distance away.
Step 7 – Effort Applied
And then our team (from Step 4) begin to put downward pressure on the plank and the opposite end of the change plank is raised to a new height.
I know, I know, it is a bit clunky. But, it is about understanding that when you work with a group on an idea you have a strong combined effort that will overcome the resistance and lift the load. By gaining support from a wider group of others this will assist to raise the load. And this group, in a strategic place, means the lift will be even easier and the load at the opposite end will be raised.
Work on the power of your leverage.