The Value of Space

In the summertime, schedules often change. If you are in a leadership role which enjoys less pressure in these months, this post is for you! If that doesn't apply, don't despair - I have some thoughts for you too!

Less pressure = More space

Physics was nowhere near my most favorite subject in school, but a scientific principle from those classes has stuck with me: less pressure means more space. Or in simple terms, a helium cylinder takes up much less space than all the balloons you can fill with it! The cylinder is under pressure, enabling it to do work quickly, while the balloons are much less pressurized and can float almost anywhere.

What's the application to leadership? We all need space to do our best thinking. And without that space, our leadership becomes little more than a jet of high pressure gas shooting out of a cylinder. So I'm suggesting you embrace the space of summer (if your role allows) and do some big space thinking. Kick back, put the laptop and phone aside, look out into nature, and let your mind and heart expand into new leadership insights, or follow up opportunities that need space to flourish (like that book you've been planning to read for months).

Like the balloons, there's no telling where that freedom may take you. Your next great idea, or the inspiration you need, may be just a less-pressured space away!

And I said I had a thought for those whose summer does not lead to relaxation: not all space is "blue sky" space. You may not have low pressure, wide-angle space available to you, but you can still treat yourself to a mini-space. A two-minute breather after a long phone call, a short walk in the parking lot after a meeting, a deliberate delay before moving on to the next task. Even these small spaces are valuable. I took one this morning, and it prompted the idea for this post!