There is No Escape Velocity in Leadership

To launch a rocket into space you need to travel at least 11.2 km/s. That’s what scientists call “Escape Velocity”. At 11.1 km/s your rocket will fall back to Earth. If your job as a Leader is to take your people to the Moon, the hardest part won’t be finding the resources, it will be fighting gravity - a force that’s invisible and relentless.

You are fighting gravity in the form of your organisation:

- Normalcy Bias

- Functional Fixedness

- Incremental Thinking

- Fear of the unknown

- Benchmarking

- Policy

- Expert opinion

There is no Escape Velocity in storytelling - you cannot tell one story and be done. As a Leader, you choose to fight gravity every single day.

But without your stories, we will fall back to Earth. Without stories, our best outcome is more of what we have now but better. Without stories we follow incremental improvement, optimisations of existing paradigms and strategies. Stories, disrupt by breaking us outside of these paradigms.

When Formula 1 drivers train for crashes they are told to fight their instinctive reactions to impending disasters. Firstly, when the car spins off the road, they are taught to let go of the wheel. Then they are told to focus on the road not the wall. When you’re careering into a wall at 300km/h it’s hard not to look at it. But you’ll always head in the direction you’re focusing.

All crisis bring destruction and on the back of that disruption, positive change. Your role as a leader is to focus your people on the road not the wall.

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