Leadership Development Crash Pads

We often share a sports analogy of how gymnasts place crash pads underneath their apparatus to catch them should they not effectively execute a move and fall.  Crash pads are a wonderful safety backup should the process of executing a move not go as planned.  But here’s the problem, to a gymnast with a fear motivated mind,  falling off of the apparatus on to a crash pad can actually become the plan.  Yes, planning on falling can actually become the move.  Leaders who think in a realm of fear can actually follow the same mentality in the process of their leadership development.

We see it frequently at the executive coaching level.  Crash pads are not large 6″ thick pieces of foam in this world, they take on a different form.  At the leadership or relationship level, crash pads can look like “staying in control” or “I don’t need to be liked”.  If the move a leader needs to make is to delegate, but delegating is fearful, they place the “stay in control” crash pad underneath them to catch them when they don’t execute the “delegate move” and fall.  As long as a crash pad is there for safety, they don’t really have to.

Know this important point.  Crash pads minimize or eliminate consequences for not making the move.  As long as a crash pad is in place, falling becomes easy.  In fact, falling becomes less fearful than the move so it is not until a person removes their crash pad that they will now have no choice but to execute the move.  The question to you becomes, what is your leadership move, and what crash pads do you need to remove from under yourself so your only choice is to go big and make the move?