WHERE IS THE CG?
The Leadership Challenge of Finding Balance
There are lots of critical numbers in aviation; airspeed, stall speed, never exceed speed, magnetic headings, engine temperatures…there are hundreds of numerical indicators that keep planes and passengers aloft and get them safely back to earth.
There is one number which is crucial and core to aircraft performance. It is determined during the design, engineering and manufacturing process. That number is the CG or Center of Gravity ; the point where when weight is evenly distributed, the plane will be balanced and stable.
I know how important CG is, not just from the books but from firsthand experience. I made an error in calculating it once.
It was my first flight in a new twin engine plane. I calculated the CG, loaded the suitcases and passengers in accordance to that calculation and off I went. I knew immediately that I had made a mistake. I felt it in the mushiness of the controls and heard it in the sound of airsick passengers behind me. I knew the plane was on the edge and made immediate in flight weight redistributions to correct it. It was a lesson that drove home to me the critical importance of maintaining balance in flight through the correct identification of the Center of Gravity.
Leaders, like pilots, are at the controls of their organizations and departments. Leaders are responsible for balancing profits and purpose, performance and potential, vision and details, generosity and generating shareholder returns, directing and listening, hard work and health. The art and science of leadership is an on-going balancing act of a myriad of opposites. Successful leadership lies in the balance.
Exceptional leaders are adept at finding the CG of organizational and business demands. Some know it intuitively, others need to be reminded that extremes cannot be sustained (i.e. the mortgage and financial markets in 2007) and that tipping points are real (revisit the stories of Wachovia, AIG, Lehmann, Long Term Capital, Countrywide).
Take a few moments now to check the CG of your leadership. Are you pushing the edge or are you close to the center? Are you reaching tipping points or are you conscientiously moving towards equilibrium?
Where is the CG of your leadership?
Upcoming articles will address specifics on finding your leadership CG.
Betty Shotton is a lifelong leader who is committed to reminding leaders of the critical need to balance the financial side of business with a commitment to serving the greater good. She is a nationally recognized thought leader who speaks on Profits and Purpose, Exceptional Leadership, Defying Gravity & High Altitude Leadership. You can see her in action on YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq_CsLRshEg She blogs http://liftoffleadership.com/lets-talk-leadership-blog/ and writes. Liftoff Leadership, 10 Principles for Exceptional Leadership, her first book, sold out in 18 months. She is working on her next. Visit her website www.liftoffleadership; it is loaded with leadership resources. She welcomes your interest via FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter.