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Leadership and the Slinky Dog Principle

slinkydog

It’s the simple things that are often times the most profound in life. True leadership principles are like this, simple, but not necessarily easy. Often times they are found in simple analogies. Other times they are found in simple statements compact with wisdom that transcends time, cultures, and industries. Believe it or not, much like those compact wise statements there’s much we can learn from child’s play toy. The slink dog toy is one such toy. In fact there are 3 things that you and I can learn from the slinky dog toy that will make or break our leadership.

Distance

When the head of the slinky dog gets too far in front, the wire that connects the two ends gets stretched to the point where it can create great strain and stress it to the point of breaking. When leaders get too far in front and lead from a distance, unnecessary strain & stress is created in the organization. Lead from a distance, refuse to be vulnerable, resist authenticity and you’ll lose your team.

Reaction

When the slinky dog is stretched to far, too often, it can lose its elasticity & flexibility. If a leaders reaction to stress is to become rigid, refuse to offer trust, and to drift toward policy and rules instead of principles you’ll erode your leadership.

Pace

If the slinky dog doesn’t keep the right pace injury can occur. If the head drags the rear along it’s easy for people to get their knees skinned. If the head gets too far out in front and then abruptly slows down to allow the rear to catch up you’re looking at a terrible collision. The pace of the leader is essential to success.

Photo Credit: bikesandwich via Compfight cc


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