One beautiful advantage of living on the outskirts of a city is that we can once again see the stars. Nothing beats a warm evening outside, glass of shiraz in hand, gazing upward as one by one, the twinkling lights begin to reveal themselves. One evening as I watched the panorama unfold, I became curious about what makes a star, a star, and how a star stays alive.

Did you know that stars shine brightly under the intense pressure of two directly opposing forces? On one hand, the fusion at a star’s core pushes outward. Then, a counter force, an external gravitational pull, keeps the mass all together.

What’s interesting is that when gravity gains the upper hand, the star begins to shrink. See, keeping a star alive is all about striking the perfect balance.

Every day, stars fight the inward pull of the force of gravity. In fact, it’s the opposing outward pressure pushing away from the star’s core that keeps that star alive.

So, what’s the work application?

Our job as leaders is to provide that opposing force to a team member’s inner fusion. This also calls for situational leadership because everyone’s inward chemistry is unique to the individual. 

For instance, if Violet places undue stress on herself, causing sleepless nights and anxiety, my job is to alleviate that stress and create a safe space for her to thrive. My pull will balance her push… and she’ll shine.

If Liv tends to get overly comfortable in the small wins, my job is to exert positive pressure by setting stretching goals, encouraging and partnering with her to deliver and delight in achieving them. She will shine in the thrill of victory!

Oh, by the way, stars tend to shine brightly when they’re having fun.

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