They trust you to determine what success looks like
Keen to nail a front flip? Awesome.
Fancy mastering a double backflip triple twist? Knock yourself out.
Want to master a belly flop? I mean ouch, but go for it.
A great leader understands diversity is a strength and mishaps are inevitable. They set the vision (or start with why as Simon Sinek would say) and then ask “what does success look like to you within this vision?”.
They provide quality feedback and support
Ever landed awkwardly on a trampoline and bounced off in a strange direction? Yeah, me too. That’s feedback.
Once you’ve defined success, a great leader will provide timely, relevant and thought-provoking feedback in order to help you get there.
They hold space
95% of what you do on a trampoline is in the air, away from the comfort of solid ground.
A great leader is the same.
They create and hold space for you to experiment, learn, grow and stretch. They deliberately create generous tension.
They don’t micromanage and they don’t create bottlenecks.
They act as a springboard
This is essentially the main purpose of a trampoline.
And likewise, a great leader amplifies your ideas, boosts energy and provides a springboard into infinite possibilities.
Trampolines don’t move, they’re right there to catch you whenever you need.
A great leader is the same. They always have your back.
They encourage doing the hard part first
The hardest part of trampolining is climbing atop and being willing to take the first few bounces.
Great leaders encourage their people to do the hard part first.
They create more leaders
At this point the metaphor is starting to feel like a stretch, alas I will say that trampolines have a shelf life.
Great leaders, too, know that it’s their responsibility to create more great leaders to move the vision forward. They attempt to make themselves redundant (which often makes them even more valuable).
They disseminate culture, not information
There is no information manual that teaches someone how to use a trampoline.
A great leader knows that skills can be learned and information can be sourced but that culture is created.
They acknowledge their role is to create and disseminate culture, not information.