Monday, September 22, 2008

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

I recently read, "Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-linear Leadership" by Nancy Ortberg.

The thesis of the book is that leading tends not to be linear; it tends to be exponential. The more you pull the rubber band the greater resistance. (I found the analogy particularly interesting since I have recently added using Therabands to my workout schedule. They are very lightweight, portable and can be used almost anywhere. I probably wouldn't need weights in my office if I had learned to use bands when I first starting working out.)

One of the quotes from the book that I liked was, "Great leaders know the value of doing the right things and that includes valuing the contribution of all of the players". I think one area where I have not done as well is telling people I appreciate their contribution. Fortunately I am a life-long learner so I can always change. For me it might even tie in with my own celebration. I tend not to celebrate my own wins as much as I could.

Another quote was, "Much of the frustration that leaders face comes from trying to solve what needs to be managed and trying to manage what needs to be solved. Being able to distinguish which areas need clarity and which areas will be ongoing tensions is a necessary skill." That paragraph was a real truism for me. So many of the things that we are involved in are not solved, they are simply somewhere along a continuum.

I found the book to be interesting, challenging, and thought provoking and would recommend it as a good read.

Only caveat, because Nancy has worked extensively with the church many of her examples have religious overtones that might put some people off.


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