What Real Leaders Understand About Resistance

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Brian Kight

I spend a lot of time on airplanes. No matter how often I fly, I’m still amazed during takeoff. The physics of flight fascinates me.

The pilot pushes the throttle, the engines create thrust, the aircraft moves forward. It’s immediately met with resistance in the form of drag from the air. More throttle. More thrust. Also more drag.

Pilots continue to throttle up until the thrust sufficiently exceeds the drag. That’s the only way a plane can generate enough speed to create the lift required to get off the ground given the plane’s weight.

Thrust must exceed drag to create forward movement and the speed necessary for flight.

It’s just like leadership.

In order to create forward movement and the alignment necessary to execute, effort and skill from leaders must exceed resistance from people.

Drag is a natural consequence of thrust. Any time thrust is applied, drag is created. Resistance is a natural consequence of leadership. Any time leadership is applied, resistance is created.

Pilots and planes don’t complain about drag. They expect it. They understand it. They engineer for it.

Real leaders don’t complain about resistance. They expect it. They understand it. They lead through it with effort and skill.

Everything is training for something. Do the work.

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