Have you ever wondered why leaders seemingly “don’t get it”? “It” could be trying ideas, being innovative or just simply making decisions that seem so obvious to others. Here are some specific examples to understand leadership momentum:
- Natural/Man-made disasters (Hurricane Katrina/BP Oil Rig Explosion in Gulf of Mexico): What took so long for President George W. Bush and President Obama, respectively, to federally respond to these disasters? President Bush followed the long-standing tradition of separation of powers (local, state, federal). In other words, if New Orleans was drowning, then as soon as New Orleans declared an emergency the State of Louisiana could declare the same, and now there is federal cause to declare the same status and immediately deploy resources.
The several days time and the missed proactive strategies at the local and state level seemingly made the federal level appear to neglect a geographic region, and of course, we now talk about people who live in relation to a particular geography. The point to consider is once the local and state emergency declarations were made, then the momentum was established to make a federal decision.
- Governor Nikki Haley/UN Ambassador (to be confirmed): We recall the killing of African Americans in a South Carolina church by an apparent act of hate-crime. As a result, Governor Haley signed a bill that removed the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina State Capitol. Why did it take a modern-day hate crime to remove the flag considering its long-standing “hate” symbolic history? http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/nikki-haley-donald-trump-un-ambassador.html?_r=0
Let’s assume Governor Haley would have removed the flag regardless of a crime. However, what would have been the likely success for Haley to remove the flag without a crime or significant public pressure? The point to consider is the seriousness of the situation caused the momentum to be established for Haley to make a move.
- Can you think of any examples about momentum from our recent VALOR Session #2?
- What about your own professional or personal momentum experiences?
In closing, leaders do “get it” perhaps they simply wait for the right situation, time, and momentum to do what seems to be so obvious to others.