Recently the power steering unit of my car cracked and all of the fluid drained out making it very difficult to steer without using some muscle. That gave a whole new meaning to the term “Power steering”.To turn a car with power steering at standstill can easily be done with the open palm of your hand. To do this without power steering is impossible. However, with some momentum, this is workable. It is momentum that makes the difference.
It is the same with leadership. Momentum makes the difference. It is never the size of your problem that is the problem. It's a lack of momentum. Without momentum, it doesn’t take much to slow you down, or even stop you. Consider some of the following things that maintain momentum compared to some of the things that break momentum.
This list was inspired an article written by John Maxwell.
Vision verses Di-Vision: Vision is an important part of leadership. Without vision, people perish. This is because their focus will be directed somewhere else. A leader that cannot produce vision will produce double-mindedness, or di-vision in those he is supposed to lead and that will definitely slow momentum. A Leader who can share vision will inspire those he is leading and generate momentum
Solo players verses Team players If you try doing things on your own, you will destroy momentum. Team victories allow everyone to celebrate together, and the more victories the team celebrates, the more the momentum grows, especially if numerous people can claim to have played a part.
The Past verses the Future “If you want to see your past, look at your current situation. If you want to see your future, look at your current action.” We can choose to continue thinking on the past and how things were, and stay stuck in what was or what could have been, or we can learn from the past and let go of it to embrace the future. Tomorrow will come, but the tomorrow you have will be determined by the actions of today.
A critical attitude verses a constructive attitude When someone is given a critique their creative work is pulled to pieces or criticised. This could be positively or negatives. However, our human nature is that we will often naturally progress to the negative aspect of criticism. When someone is criticised often enough, it will not just discourage them or take courage away from them, it will cripple them. When this happens to those we are leading, we will quickly notice a grinding halt in our desired momentum. The opposite is also true. Encourage, or put courage into people and they will grow, and desire to achieve more. Then momentum will soar to record heights. Mental attitude makes all the difference to your overall momentum.
Indecision verses action John Maxwell says, “I am never overly impressed with idea people. Anyone who takes a long shower can come up with a good idea. I'm impressed with a person who has the tenacity and discipline to make ideas happen.” Leaders can break the momentum on their team by giving in to the “paralysis of analysis”. Sometimes a leader needs to act without all of the needed information. Momentum and risk walk side by side. As a leader, there are times when in order to inspire excitement in those you lead, you just need to act.
Tradition verses Creativity Good leaders consistently and demandingly question the reasoning behind the comments, “That’s how we have always done it” Although we need to know why the fence was built in the first place before we tear it down, we also need to realise that things that worked in the past may be outdated and could hold you back in the future.
Dishonesty verses Character What sort of leader would you follow? One who is manipulative and deceitful of one who is trustworthy and has integrity and a strong character? Character is the sum total of our everyday choices. It cannot be built overnight. Integrity of character comes from the proper decisions made behind closed doors even when people haven’t been watching because it was simply the right thing to do.
Peter Kusmic said, "Charisma without Character is a Catastrophe". The circumstances we live in determines our reputations, while the truth we choose to believe in determines our character.
We have the choice to continue to maintain speed and watch our momentum continue, or we can act in ways that will bring it to a grinding halt. Over the next few days, assess your personal momentum. Are you continuing at the same speed, are you increasing pace, or are you struggling to overcome even the smallest challenges? What has been happening that has brought about your answer? What steps can you put in place right now that will ensure that you Maintain Momentum today.