Discover 3 Elegant Movement Dynamics (and 1 Powerful Question) to Get Your Team Working in a State Peak Performance
Quick — what do you think of when I say “elegance”?
If you’re like me and most others, you probably said things like ease, flow, grace and beauty. What you probably didn’t think of was success.
When we think of success, we often think of achievement, accomplishment, drive, grit, commitment — words that call to mind force, strength and power.
Yet, just as water can be both gentle and strong, there is strength in elegance — a strength that you can use to create results.
In this series, we’re exploring the 7 Hidden Laws of Leadership, which are little-known principles that explain the success of the world’s most successful and innovative leaders and thinkers.
The sixth law of leadership is the Law of Elegant Movement, which says that orchestrated leadership unleashes peak performance. To help you understand what that means, let me share a story.
Elegant Movement Unlocks Extraordinary Success for Leaders
A company once hired me as a consultant to support two of its sales organizations. These two teams were talking to the same clients and selling the same product. Yet one team consistently outperformed the other — by a whopping 40 percent! The company’s leadership wanted to know why.
Because both teams were approximately the same size, the difference in revenue couldn’t be explained by simply having more people selling. So the first thing I focused on when observing and analyzing was the teams’ leadership.
Team A had an amazing, powerful, young, hungry, ambitious leader. He was super smart and strived to do everything that he could do to create the results that he wanted to achieve for himself and for his team.
What I noticed is that he was using a lot of what I call “push” or “force” energy. He was working hard and trying to will the results he wanted into being.
Team B was led by a much wiser person with more experience. This woman knew what she was doing as a leader and had orchestrated amazing results. I believe that she was, to some degree, unconsciously invoking the Law of Elegant Movement in her leadership.
As I dug deeper into the data, I noticed an interesting pattern. Most of the time, there was very little difference between Team A’s results and Team B’s results on the first day of the month. The results would be about the same on day two and day three.
But then every four or five days, Team B would have a day when they’d produce two to four times the results of Team A. As an example, let’s say the teams were selling $50,000 a day worth of the products. So they’d sell $50,000, then another $50,000, then another $50,000. Then every four or five days, Team B would sell $150,000 of products. Then the next day, they’d be back to $50,000. This pattern repeated throughout the month
I got really curious about what was creating this type of dynamic. The answer — the Law of Elegant Movement. Team B was having a peak moment state.
You’ve had these types of moments in your own life. It’s like being in “the zone.” Things — even challenging things — seem to happen almost effortlessly. Resources come together, obstacles disappear, and everything seems to move in a state of flow.
3 Dynamics of Elegant Movement
As a leader, there are three dynamics you can focus on to create peak moments for yourself and the team. (There’s also a question you can ask yourself to help evoke this experience — more on that in a bit.)
According to Plato, elegance is related to beauty, and beauty is related to unity. I use this inspiring idea to remind myself of the power that comes when these three dynamics are unified within a team or organization.
Elegant Movement Dynamic #1: Harmony
The state of harmony is one where multiple parts blend into a pleasing whole. Things that are in harmony agree with each other. Harmony equates to a tranquil state.
Things that are not in harmony exist in a state of discord. There are rough edges, sharp angles and disagreement.
When I observed the two sales teams within my client’s company, I could easily see that Leader A’s push energy created a sense that he was trying to force results. That push energy can cause disruption and even resistance. Team B’s leader was in flow, her team members were in tune, and as a result, Team B operated in harmony.
Elegant Movement Dynamic #2: Pacing
Pacing is all about the rate at which you function. When leading a team, it’s especially important that we pace ourselves at a rate that is sustainable — and that creates an energetic flow.
As you pace yourself and/or your team properly, you make steady, measurable progress and things feel pleasant and even effortless. When you’re tired, it’s a good tired — you know you’ve worked hard, and you’re pleasantly exhausted.
And if you’re not pacing yourself properly, you feel drained and even burned out. You might be making progress — but that progress comes at a cost.
Elegant Movement Dynamic #3: Cadence
Cadence refers to the regular, repeated pattern of activity within your team. In particular, pay attention to whether what you’re doing is building momentum.
If you don’t feel momentum building toward the result you’re pursuing, you need to tweak the activities you’re engaged in or how you’re performing them.
The Question that Evokes the Law of Elegant Movement
In addition to paying attention to the three dynamics listed above, you can ask yourself a question to instantly help shift you to the right leadership mindset and energetic state: How do others feel in my presence?
When you’re formally leading a team, you definitely want to consider and observe how your presence affects the people you’re leading. How they feel will impact your ability to use the Law of Elegant Movement to create results.
When I observed the two sales teams, I noticed that the members of Team A were tight. They were nervous. They wanted to do a good job, but they were overly self-aware and too focused on the possibility of not living up to their leader’s standards.
The members of Team B felt nourished, energized and upbeat. They felt uplifted and ready to go out and conquer the world. They existed in a state of flow, which empowered them to work in harmony to achieve incredible results.
Use Elegant Movement to Create Peak Performance in All Areas
Business is not the only area where you can use the Law of Elegant Movement to create peak performance. You can use this law in all areas of life. Sports is a great example. Phil Jackson, the former basketball coach who won a record number of NBA championships, talked about using Zen or creating flow energy in his leadership.
You, too, can create more flow in your team, work environment and life. Focus on deliberately using the three dynamics of harmony, pacing and cadence to invoke peak performance. And remember to use your observations about how others feel in your presence to ensure you’re in the right leadership mindset to use this law.
Getting yourself and your team into a state of peak performance is the key to effortless results. The Law of Elegant Movement will help you create that state with ease.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you use these 3 dynamics in your own leadership and performance?