Published by John Terry - The Black Belt Leader in Leadership · 23 April 2020
John L. Terry, III - The Black Belt Leader
While in college, I took flying lessons. I remember the excitement of walking onto the tarmac, walking around the small Beechcraft plane I'd be training in, and climbing into the cockpit for the first time. My instructor climbed into the seat behind me and we walked through the checklist before starting the engine. I couldn't wait to get airborne.
Checklist complete, I turned the switch and the engine roared to life. The small plane shuddered as the powerful engine revved up. As we started to taxi toward the runway, my instructor pointed to an orange sock blowing in the breeze near the runway. "Pay attention to the sock," he told me. "You want to make sure you're taking off the right way."
In my early classroom sessions, I learned about lift and drag. As a plane flies into the wind, the shape of the wings directs the airflow over and under the wings. The curvature of the upper wing, coupled with the flat structure of the lower wing, creates the needed aerodynamic lift to get the plane airborne.
Resistance was required to create an environment where lift could take place. Without resistance, the plane could not fly. Experienced pilots understand how to use resistance to their advantage, to take their planes to lofty heights and soar among the clouds.
In any organization, and in life, there will be times when we all face resistance. When life pushes back at us in (at times) and unfriendly way. Sometimes that pressure, like a gentle breeze, isn't too bad. Other times, such as during a thunderstorm, the ferocity of the winds can be quite intense.
The plane uses thrust to push against the wind, generating (and maintaining) the lift needed to get (and keep) the airplane flying. In my training plane, it was a propeller. In the jets I travel in as a passenger, it's a jet engine. The concept is the same. The engine creates momentum that moves the plane forward and takes advantage of the resistance to fly.
As a leader, you're the engine. It's your job to create (and maintain) the momentum necessary to get the Team pushing against the wind in their face. It's your responsibility to get the Team moving fast enough to overcome the resistance and use it to your tactical advantage to get the organization airborne and flying once again.
Motivation gets momentum started. That's the leader starting the engine and getting it revved up to move forward. But momentum doesn't actually start until you start moving. Just as the pilot has to release the brakes and push the throttle forward to get the airplane moving, the leader has to release the Team and get them engaged in activities that move the organization forward.
I remember climbing to almost 10,000 feet in my training plane and seeing the world from a different perspective. We used a lot of power to get the airplane to its cruising altitude, but once we leveled off, I was able to throttle back the plane and cruise with minimal effort.
Momentum is the same way. Getting the Team to start moving requires the most energy and effort. As you start experiencing success, your organization begins to climb and before you know it, you've reached cruising altitude and the Team can relax, a little.
Just as it still requires momentum to keep the plane moving, your Team simply can't get the organization moving and stop being productive. Without thrust, a plane will stall and crash to the ground. Without continued momentum, your Team (and your organization) will do likewise. It doesn't take as much effort to maintain as it does to get started, but it does take some effort. It's always easier to maintain once you get the Team seeing success.
Resistance, rightly used, can take you (and your team) to lofty heights of success.
So what are you waiting for? Motivate your team, take your foot off the brakes, and throttle your Team's productivity. Turn and face the wind, and use momentum to create the thrust needed to use the resistance you're facing to your tactical advantage.
You can overcome resistance, and use it for your advantage.
Are you ready to get off the ground and get airborne?
2X martial arts Hall of Fame inductee, John Terry (The Black Belt Leader) is passionate about helping others become Black Belt Leaders in Life. He is a motivational speaker, leadership, sales & communication coach and trainer.
Jessie Terry, John's daughter, is a Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team and is actively involved in the JMT Global Youth Initiative. She is also a Real-Life Management trained coach and a certified Women-Safe Self-Defense Instructor.
For more information, schedule John (or Jessie) to speak to your organization or to book a personal, group or corporate coaching session, visit our website at www.beablackbeltleader.com.
If you are a faith-based organization, learn more about John and Jessie's outreach to churches, para-church organizations or faith-based volunteer groups by visiting www.DunamisFactor.com.
John is an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team and is passionate about helping others pursue excellence as they become "Leaders in Life". He is also a Master Coach & Trainer with Real Life Management, a human behavioral training organization helping people learn how to live "Real Life" and make better choices when it comes to relationships, money, health, and wellness. John is also a certified DISC Human Behavior Consultant.
John's newest book, Black Belt Leadership 101, released as a #1 New Seller on Amazon Kindle. Also available in paperback, this book highlights the 10 essential character traits necessary to live life as a Black Belt Leader in Life.
Why just be a leader, when you can be a Black Belt Leader?
This book includes a Discussion Guide for either your own personal growth and development or to facilitate a group discussion with your Team. Get your copy today.