Learning From a Different Place – Part 16
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Does “Big Mo” really work? According to John Maxwell, momentum is the driving force behind law number 16. But, just because he says it’s a law, does it work? John says momentum is a leader’s best friend, and I think he’s right. Let’s take a few minutes to see why it works. The basic premise is that winning makes winning easier. Whether you are a sports team, a sales team, or a manufacturing team, when you are winning, it’s much easier to keep winning.
To start with, when things are going well, you are much more optimistic, and you see problems as opportunities to grow and get better. Even problems on the factory floor are viewed as your systems providing you with feedback, rather than an endless run of issues. Michael Jordan said that a loss was only a loss if he didn’t learn something from it. He was allowing The Law of Big Mo to propel him to higher performance levels.
Ten years ago, I thought this was pretty basic. When things are going well, life is much easier, and you need to sustain it as long as you can. Riding the wave of success is living out The Law of Big Mo. Today I see a much deeper reality. The Law of Big Mo is the leader’s responsibility. It’s my job to orchestrate the wins so the momentum continues. Let’s clear up a few details first. Momentum is an exaggerator. When it’s on our side, we look better than we really are. When it’s not, well, hold on because we will look much worse than we really are. Momentum can make the leader look much better than they are, so don’t let it go to your head. Like the old proverb says, “Pride goeth before the fall.” Momentum is easier to steer than to start. Please don’t waste it when it’s working for you.
Now let’s get back to the meat of this email. Since momentum is the leader’s responsibility, if I’m the leader, I need to motivate myself. It’s an inside job. I need to create and sustain a motivational environment around me. Think back to The Law of the Inner Circle. Who am I spending time with? Are they pulling me forward or dragging me down? What type of work energizes me? Am I setting my day up for success? What am I reading? What podcasts am I listening to? When we surround ourselves with activities and people that inspire us, we will be keeping the fire going. Remember, you can’t kindle a fire in someone else until it’s burning brightly inside yourself.
When you fine-tune your own momentum-building system, you will have the ability to build momentum for your team. When you can build and maintain momentum for your team, you are on the path to capitalizing on amazing opportunities.
Next week, I’ll talk about The Law of Priorities. It should be fun!