If there’s one useful leadership idea to be learned from the state of media today, it’s the power of the pendulum.

Social media and news organizations feed on the widening oscillations of the societal pendulum. One side thinks they are right, and the other is evil. One side thinks they are smart and the other is stupid. One side takes drastic action and the other responds with drastic action of their own. Like a pendulum, the wider the swing to one side, the wider the swing to the other.

For the media, their goal is simple: the wider the swing, the higher the ratings. That is the reason why those in the media simply aren’t leaders. They’re too far removed from the real-life consequences of the events they report. They are too far removed from the accountability that real-life consequences require. For the media, it’s far too easy to disturb the pendulum with no skin in the game.

True leaders not only have skin in the game, they are living the game. They know not to excite the pendulum. They understand that nothing can be accomplished if opposite sides are devoting all their attention to matching the other. True leaders act as the gravity that brings the pendulum of their organization to rest so everyone can work in unison towards a common goal.

As a leader, there are times when you may find yourself on one side of the pendulum. When handling egos, when holding your team accountable, and when communicating. Through personal experience, I’ve found that it’s always best not to respond to force with force. Rather, absorb the impact of any situation and strive to work from a place of stillness and calm.

Understand that the pendulum is easily disturbed by those who are removed from the situation. That is why it’s vital that you keep everyone on your team involved, inspired, and engaged.

Equal and opposite forces cancel each other out. Don’t waste energy. Still the pendulum.

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