In Leadership, The Critical Convergence Drives Great Results

Leaders can achieve more results if they create an environment in which people are ardently committed to the leader's cause.  A key factor in creating this environment is developing a critical convergence, the joining of leaders’ enthusiasms and the people’s into a powerful, single force for success.

By Brent Filson - 2005

The Leader’s Fallacy lives! We subscribe to the Fallacy when we believe our enthusiasm over a particular leadership challenge is automatically reciprocated by the people we lead. 

If ignorance is bliss then leaders going around blithely adhering to the Leader’s Fallacy have cornered the market on happiness.

The truth is, it’s more realistic to believe in INVERSE RECIPROCITY: i.e., whatever motivates you, “DE-motivates” the people.

That’s especially so for leaders who are trying to motivate people to meet extraordinary challenges. 

You’ll never know how good you are as a leader unless you are motivating others to be better than they think they are. In that endeavor, you’ll inevitably get at least some of the people angry. 

Most people are settled into a comfortable status quo and resist and resent being challenged to break out. 

But if you aim to get great results, people not only have to be pushed but more importantly, they must be challenged to push themselves.

If you’re not getting some people angry with you over the pushing, you’re doing something wrong as a leader, you’re not challenging people enough.

This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t have the people share in your enthusiasms.  You must.  That sharing is called CRITICAL CONFLUENCE, the joining of your enthusiasms and theirs so they are as enthusiastic as you about meeting the challenges you face. Until a critical confluence happens, you can’t get great results consistently. 

The Leader’s Fallacy is an obstacle to the critical confluence.  Don’t think the Critical Confluence will happen automatically. Know instead that you must work hard to achieve it.

After all, you yourself must be motivated about those challenges.  If you’re not motivated, you shouldn’t be leading.  But your motivation is irrelevant simply because it’s a given. 

Here’s what’s relevant: Can you transfer your motivation to the people so they are as motivated as you are? And can you translate their motivation into action that achieves results? 

Everyone has major needs that shape their thinking and their actions day in and day out.  If you want those people to take ardent action for you, you must provide solutions to the problems of those needs so the action you have them take brings them closer to realizing those solutions.

By the way, the critical confluence is not “win/win”.  It’s much deeper and richer.  Unlike “win/win”, the critical confluence is an on-going relationship process from which flow mutually beneficial expectations and solutions.

Here are three steps you can take to help make a critical confluence happen. 

  1. Understand their needs.
  2. Turn their needs into problems.
  3. Have their commitment to your cause be a solution to their problems.

To get the best out of people, we must embrace the best in them.  Whenever you need to lead people to tackle important challenges, recall the Leader’s Fallacy.  Know that their commitment to your cause doesn’t come automatically.  You have to earn it by embracing the best of who they are.  When you take the trouble to build a critical convergence, you’ll see a significant jump in the results you have others achieve.


2005© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"