For years, I thought of myself as a flat-organization person.
After all, I value what each person has to say.
I know that good ideas come from everywhere, and the best ideas rarely come from the top.
I want to have genuine relationships with the people around me.
And I don’t want these relationships to be impacted by our relative positions of authority in the company or organization we work in.
But what I want is not the same thing as what is.
The reality is that each person comes into each organization with an inherited orientation towards authority.
And it’s the job of the person with authority to understand this and act accordingly.
That means that, if you have authority, you have to remember how amplified each of your actions is: the more authority you have, the further your words carry, the more likely it is that they will land with a bigger impact than you intended, the greater chance that what you do and don’t say will be noticed by more people than you expect.
I find it helpful to think of myself standing on the moon: each step is much bigger than it would be on earth.
And every leader operates in this sort of low-gravity environment.