Byron's Babbles

H2O Leadership

the-secrets-of-the-water-molecule-decoded-2Water is key to the existence of life as we know it. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true—and dramatic things that are true are what make life interesting! The human body is 60 to 70% water. So, since we humans are already bodies of water that means when you put a team of people or organization together you have a large body of water – kind of like a lake, river, or ocean. Cool to think of it that way isn’t it?

Water has unusual chemical properties that make it very good at supporting life. Here are those properties:

  • Solvent properties of water: water dissolves many polar and charged molecules.
  • Cohesion and adhesion of water: Water can stick to itself (cohesion) and other molecules (adhesion).
  • Specific heat, heat of vaporization, and density of water: Water has a high heat capacity and heat of vaporization, and ice—solid water—is less dense than liquid water.

Water owes these unique properties to the polarity of its molecules and, specifically, to their ability to form hydrogen bonds with each other and with other molecules. Thanks to their polarity, water molecules happily attract each other. The plus end of one—a hydrogen atom—associates with the minus end of another—an oxygen atom.

“Is your team a group of separate atoms, or one giant, interconnected molecule.” ~ John Parker Stewart

img_2265In Leadership lesson #15 from John Parker Stewart in 52 Leadership Lessons: Timeless Stories For The Modern Leader, Stewart uses the metaphor of the water molecule to describe how the bonds of our team members provides the strength of our organization. Just like water molecules, our team members need strength and flexibility to form strong interwoven molecular bonds. Basically, because of water ability to stick to itself a lake or ocean becomes one big molecule. Isn’t that what we wa²²nt our organization’s people to do? In other words bond to become one single structure.

We, as leaders, must also act like water. The most successful authentic leaders are like water, instead of being powerful they are essential. Since nothing can survive without water, it’s imperative that we learn from water. How can you strengthen the bonds of connection among your organization’s team?




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