Remember the toys you had when you were growing up? You might have had an inflatable plastic punching dummy. It was as tall as you were and had a popular character painted on it. Our challenge was to hit it hard enough to make it stay down. But, no matter how hard we tried, it always bounced right back up again. What was the secret? Was it magic? Was it gravity? Was it lack of our power? Was someone playing a practical joke on us? What was the purpose? Voila! There was a lead weight in the bottom that always forced it back to the upright position, no matter how hard we hit it.
Sailboats operate by the same principle. The lead weights in their keels provide the ballast to keep them balanced and upright in strong winds.
“Punch and Bounce Back” Leadership
I thought “punch” analogy was great for leadership in our automotive repair shops. We are all ballast in the winds and punches of leadership from time to time. Being able to bounce back up and remain balanced during the strong winds and tides of the business is essential.
Stability, forwardness, resolve, foresight, understanding, fortitude, and ballast. These are all essential tools in our leadership tool kit. Perhaps you have lost a key staff member. Maybe you’ve suffered a massive comeback costing you a lot of money. You’ve been disappointed in the shop’s performance while you were gone, lost your lease and had to move within a few days. You could have bought some equipment but it did not work as needed, or had a staff member steal from you, while your leadership took a hit. You took a punch square in the face. You bounced right back up.
Congratulations! You passed the “punch and bounce back for leadership” test with strong ballast.