The need for stability


Nik Wallenda has performed live in every state in the US and all over the world. From crossing the Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls to walking blindfolded between two towers in Chicago, he is the seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallenda family. He personifies the Wallenda family legacy of “Never Giving Up” and repeatedly proves that “fear is a liar.” If there is one thing that Nik requires to do what he is good at, it is “stability.”

In his book “Hacking Leadership,” Michael Hyatt sees parallelism with the Four Pillars of Stability one needs to embrace to become an effective leader:

1. True North: Stable leaders have an open mind, but they also have strong convictions and principles. While stable leaders listen to others, they are not prone to being wishy-washy. Their values drive their actions – not the court of public opinion. You might not always agree with stable leaders, but you’ll never have any doubt as to where they stand. An aligned vision based upon clearly stated values and the character to hold people accountable to values over outcomes create a high-trust culture. Purpose and people matter more than process and short-term results.

2. You Play How You Practice: Whether Nik Wallenda, a CEO, an educator, politician, or anyone else, your performance is always tied to your preparation. Training, development, and continuous life-long learning are the foundational cornerstones of stable leadership. A fake-it-until-you-make-it outlook is not only ill-conceived; it’s often irresponsible and usually doesn’t end well.

3. Lead with Compassion: The most stable leaders understand their success is rooted in the care and well-being of those they lead. Sound “sense of trust and stability not found in more mercenary and callous leaders.”

4. Freedom to Fail: If the people you lead are afraid to make mistakes, you’ll never see their best work – you will have led them to a perpetual state of mediocrity. Smart leaders make it safe for people to think big, take risks, and try new and different things. Nothing creates stability more than a high-trust environment where people are rewarded for the right behaviors – not punished for them.”

It does make a lot of sense. As a leader, I am not saying that you need to be doing some high wire walking like Nik Wallenda. But what I see is the necessity to practice value-driven leadership principles that would provide you with the stability to bring your people and organization through these very uncertain times.

Things were a lot different then. I had to learn the hard way. I remember when I started my career, I worked under a hard-nosed boss. I got a promotion to a leadership position. Such things as motivation, appreciation, employee engagement, and leadership inspiration did not exist then. I had to learn leadership principles through various reprimands, sometimes humiliation, and insults, the intensity of which would make today’s young workers scream and shout “human rights abuse!” I remember coming to him and say, “But sir, we do not have enough resources,” and he would snap back at me and say. “Then you are not very resourceful, are you?” When I said, “But sir, I don’t have the time,” he would snap back at me and say, “Why are you not focused?” If I ever implied that “there are just too many things on my plate,” which I would never say because I know my boss would hit me back and say, “I cannot believe how undisciplined you are.”

And now that I have had many years of business and leadership experience, I realize what my former boss was doing. He wanted to train me to be stable. He knew that the leader’s main job is to refuse to accept the status quo, to disrupt mediocrity. Of course, I would have wished that he employed a more charming approach that would not make me suspect he had the compassion of a serial killer, but what he did to me certainly pushed me to improve and to grow.

It is in the leader’s job description to grow the people and grow the business. It is the leader’s task to remove and eradicate apathy, dismantle bureaucracy, and affect positive changes in the people and the business. The leader has to be stable. Thank goodness I have not imitated my hard-nosed boss’s leadership methodology and style, but I indeed emulated the principles he was espousing. A stable leader provides a stabilizing influence on their people. And it is much needed today.



(Francis Kong’s highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online will have another run this May 17-19, 2021. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the Current Reality and the Post-Covid World. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

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