The principle of the string is an important leadership concept.
Consider a rather lengthy piece of string at rest on a boardroom table. To remove the string, I have two choices; push it or pull it off the table.
Leaders have the same choices. We can push people to perform with various Theory X techniques or pull our team toward improved performance. Pushing or pulling is a matter of choice. The bad choice is to push while thinking that you are pulling. It's delusional and duplicitous at best.
I am an advocate of pull leadership. I try not to push. When I push is accidental rather than intentional. I think leaders pull and managers push. Secure leaders pull more than insecure leaders. Leaders who work in fear tend to push in respect to their fear.
When we try to push a string across the table, the string doesn't move until it is clumped together. The string doesn't look or act like a string any longer. The string rested on the table with great promise only to be pushed into a wad of nothing.
The string could become any garment of beauty. It could be attached to a promise or processed to suture or enhanced to be silly. A pulled string is always in service.
Highly effective leaders are known for their perpetual pullups.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.
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