Do you want an amazing 2016? Read this carefully till the end. It’s a perspective never shared before.
As a martial artist for over 26 years, one of my favorite artist is Bruce Lee; Not necessarily because of his art form or creation but most importantly because of his leadership and because of who he became in the process of “perfecting” his art through the pursuit of excellence.
It took me 25 years to really understand one of his famous quote that I had long admired.
“Be Like Water, when you put water into a tea pot, it takes the form of the tea pot, when you put water into a cup it takes the form of the cup, water can flow, but water can also crashes!!!”
What a very simple concept but yet profound lesson in leadership, business and into our daily lives.
After deep observation, I realized how powerful this message was (I’m not sure that even Bruce Lee had realized the depth of his quote-As I believe Bruce sharing was more philosophical and metaphorical?).
I wanted to share below, how we can learn so much more from this foundation so that you can optimize your year productivity.
Why this matter to you and Why water?
Yes because you are a Bruce Lee fan like me or joke aside, you need to care because most importantly the human body is made up of close to eighty percent of water and even further fundamentally our planet earth is called the blue planet because about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and with the oceans holding about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water.
First let’s look at water from a micro view perspective.
Not too be a chemist but I think this is really interesting.
Water is called the universal solvent because more substances dissolve in water than in any other chemical (just to be to clear, no solvent, including water, dissolves every chemical); in general “like dissolves like.” Basically, polar solvents dissolve polar molecules, such as salts. Nonpolar solvents dissolve nonpolar molecules such as fats and other organic compounds. Water is polar because of the difference in electronegativity between hydrogen and oxygen. The highly electronegative oxygen atom attracts electrons or negative charge to it, making the region around the oxygen more negative than the areas around the two hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen side of each water (H2O) molecule carries a slight positive electric charge, while the oxygen side carries a slight negative electric charge. This helps water dissociate ionic compounds into their positive and negative ions. The positive part of an ionic compound is attracted to the oxygen side of water while the negative portion of the compound is attracted to the hydrogen side of water.
Clearly, water “duality” nature and microscopic structure allow water to be that universal solvent. What can we learn from that?
If we are up made of water in majority, we should have the ability to behave like water, UNLESS we’re disconnected from that nature; especially that many of us live in a polarized environment, or realities (good/bad, etc…).
As a leader what can you do to lead your team to success based on your teammate’s tendencies, and their different strengths and weaknesses?
Leading like water, means being able to attract and lead both opposite side of the spectrum but yet still be effective and meet the team objectives. It means being a unifier not a divider.
How can we lead like water then?
One of the best microscopic property is that universal solvent attribute- Simply, it also means being able to have compassion because a GREAT leader can relate and lead MOST (if not all).
That quality of being a universal solvent means that the leader is trusted by his team; which makes the team unified. John Maxwell puts is well-Leaders touch the heart before they reach for a hand.
Trust is a non-negotiable quality and attribute to influence and leadership. In fact trust is the cement for any relationship; even more relevant for a leader who is guiding a team for a single focus objective.
Now another element that is so valuable to a great leader is RESPECT earned from the team.
To understand how we can learn from water let’s look at the macroscopic behavior of water.
This second approach or water relate to what Bruce Lee quote closely.
Water ability to flow or crash is the key foundation of water power to master and influence its environment at the bigger level.
In quantum physics the quantum elements behave like a wave or a particle. Similarly water can behave like a wave or instead have a “fist punch” effect which is punctual.
The qualities of quantum elements being able to be both wave and particles is the most challenging concept to grasp still nowadays in quantum physics; but I believe if we put it in simple words and concept of either Wave=Flow and Particle = Single Focus, one can understand why this quality can earn people respect.
What can we learn from water Flow and water resilience or focus?
Flow might be categorized as “feminine” attribute because it allows one to “be more receptive” and more open. Which is vital in leadership in order to be present. As presence is felt by the team.
Focus might be categorized as “masculine” because it allows one to be “single focus” and be forward reaching; which is vital in leadership, in order to create followers, one need to show confidence and progress, and share vision and what the future could be.
Flow and Focus gives the leader the second bed rock needed- which is RESPECT.
With both TRUST and RESPECT, one can create and foster an environment of acceptance and a team spirit. When those are embodied by the leader it creates an environment that foster synergy in a team.
So what’s next can we learn from water into our leadership abilities?
It’s the third element I want to share, that I think even wasn’t captured by Bruce Lee-
“Water can Freeze and solidify or water can vaporize and float in the air whenever necessary.”
Water ability to transform and adapt shows water ability to “empower” its environment; which is what create a sustained performance in a team. It’s the ability to adapt and self-reproduced; which is vital because for the future of the organization, a leader need to build other leaders- why?
Let’s think about it, as a trusted leader with a synergized team and a vision, what else is essential?
Team Empowerment, because in the end- everything falls and rise on leadership as would say John C Maxwell.
Here’s the best part or all-All the principles we discussed above, must be cultivated FIRST into ourselves so we can lead effectively and create the impact we desire as a leader.
And the beauty is this- Water is fluid, seemingly soft, however water will wear away “unyielding “rigid rock.
So let’s take it to the next level- “Be like Water, not only because it can flow, or crashes but because it can also freeze, and vaporize if needed”; But most importantly water is here to stay and it is the universal solvent that unify.
No doubt about it – To create an amazing Impact -BE LIKE WATER!!!
Did you find this useful and want to get a free ignite your legacy strategy session. feel free to schedule with my dedicated new year special.