What can leaders learn from a famous mathematician and scientist from Greece?
A lot actually. Here’s why. Around 2200 years ago, Archimedes made the following statement. “Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
As leaders we often find ourselves working through, pushing or outright fighting situations and things to achieve results we are responsible for or that we want. Assuming the result or end goal we are trying to achieve is correct (and that may be a big assumption based on the clarity of the leader), any leader willing to stop put down his lever and move the position of his fulcrum to gain what is best described as more effortless leverage increases his chances for success exponentially.
Of course you’d have to ask Archimedes for a more precise calculation if you really wanted to quantify the exact percentage advantage, but since he’s not around anymore lets come at it a little differently by asking a few questions that may help you increase your chances if your working the lever and not making progress.
Is it time to stop?
Are you willing to put down the lever for just a bit?
Are you willing to take a chance by moving the fulcrum?
The stop question can be slippery for leaders who love to work hard and are stoic about effort. The putting the lever down question is tough for those leaders who look at anything but winning their way as surrendering. And the moving the fulcrum question is not only hard compared to stopping and dropping, but for leaders who have a hard time being wrong, their challenge is to view moving the fulcrum as an opportunity to learn a new perspective, a new approach.
Where are you in this Archimedean scenario with your personal leadership or business challenges?