Momentum Crushes Problems

Do you find that small things slow you or your team down? Do you get dragged into issues that are really inconsequential in the scheme of things? What you need in momentum and lots of it! Momentum crushes problems. 

John Maxwell has a great metaphor that I’m going to borrow, because it’s a great one. John talks about a train being in a station waiting for passengers. When it’s ready to go, a log of wood is placed in front of it. This seemingly small obstacle will make the train unable to depart; spinning its wheels, unable to move. Yet, if the same log were placed on a track when the train was moving at full speed, it would provide no resistance at all. Probably not even noticed, as the momentum of the train overcomes the resistance, of a now insignificant obstacle.   

The same is true with our workplaces and teams.  An organisation with no momentum stumbles over small issues, politics and infighting. Arguing with vigor and lots of consternation over insignificant issues.   Yet if we have momentum, then small issues and problems get solved and dealt with, seemingly without pressure. 

So how do we as leaders go about creating this kind of momentum? Devolving decision-making to the front lines, where there is situational clarity goes a long way. This creates an ability to flex where you need to, allowing empowerment which leads to practical solutions being activated.  

Yet empowerment alone is not enough. Alignment to a clear unifying vision and priority set, is paramount if broader desirable organisational outcomes are to be achieved.  

Ensuring resources and pressure are in the right places, is always difficult to achieve. Yet a concerted effort to resource appropriately and manage the paradox of competing priorities, go a long way to ensuring momentum is sustained. 

Maximum momentum for minimum effort is gained when people are empowered, the vision is clear and priorities well resourced. 


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