Leadership Thoughts – Tethered by Trust

I recently took a vacation in the western provinces of Canada that included 11 days on a motorcycle. This was a first for me and I wasn’t sure what I was getting into.

Two Harley motorcycles, two couples, many mountain ranges, large lakes and rivers and the Pacific Ocean, and countless twisties. Roads that allow the rider to enjoy, curving, swaying, following the natural landscape, with the beautiful views ever present.

The road, my thoughts, and hours of enjoyment – about 77 hours of riding in fact – and this phrase popped into my head: “tethered by trust”.

When two bikes ride together tethered by trust, the riding is an experience like poetry, like a symphony, like a well-oiled machine. There is an unspoken language that is learned through experience that enables joy and safety, leading and sharing, and pure exhilaration.

It reminded me of leadership in work and personal experiences. When common goals, experience to execute, and trust exists, words are often unnecessary. We know where we’re going, we have the right skills, and people trust me to both lead and pass the reins at the appropriate moments. Lead when I’m needed, pass the reins to others either for a break or allow them to grow, or to recognize areas of strength that I may not have.

A Harley motorcycle, an open road, and a few hand signals that are universally known by experienced riders. And don’t forget the dropped-arm-low-key-wave when you see a fellow biker.

Tethered by trust. Leadership indeed.

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