Are You a LoCo Leader?
Nearly a century ago, social psychologist Kurt Lewin suggested that great organizations need both locomotion and cohesion. In other words, cohesion leads to the formation and maintenance of groups, while locomotion facilitates the normal operation and functioning of groups.
Cohesion without locomotion can be fun in the short term, but the stagnation and lack of progress can be frustrating. Locomotion without cohesion is stressful and can feel haphazard.
The best leaders know how to gauge a situation for what alchemy is needed between these two poles: locomotion and cohesion. During my two dozen years as CEO of Joie de Vivre, I was more naturally drawn to locomotion, and that’s been true again at MEA. So, I’ve needed to create processes that build cohesion and recognize that I should surround myself with leaders who are strong at cohesion. At Airbnb, it was the opposite. The founders and the business were full of locomotion, so my role was to develop cohesion, first with the senior leadership team and then companywide.
Can you be LoCo? No, not crazy. Can you build your aptitude for what your organization needs from you—whether it’s locomotion or cohesion—and then deliver it?