In Tom Preston-Werner’s keynote, he spoke with glee about how he has been fascinated by magnets since he was a child. He used that curiosity to learn the application of magnetic fields in science experiments, motors, floppy drives, college physics and beyond.
I never really thought of magnets as “the coolest thing” but when you stop to ponder, they are pretty amazing. What other components do you know that can both repel and attract each other as well as draw in other objects from afar? Magnets are a litany of paradoxes: they hold things together and release freely, stay in place and are easily moved, as well as exerting attraction or repulsion to other surfaces like it.
Preston-Werner’s fascination with magnets was of the physical sense: the “inexplicable magic” of their properties. But think of how you can adopt some of the traits that a metaphorical magnet possesses. In your organizational setting, can you draw in others just as magnets pull in other metal objects from afar? Can you create ways to connect others together in a cohesive way? Do you serve in a role that repels forces working against you but attracts those in alignment? Can you hold things together but retain the ability to let go when the situation warrants?
Adopt some of the properties of the magnet and allow others in your organization to see your role as magical.