Leaders Light the Path for Others – Four Lessons from the Recent Solar Eclipse

Apr 17 / Julie Jones

Take a moment to watch a solar eclipse!

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Image and video - AdobeStock

I recently got to experience a likely, once in my lifetime, total solar eclipse. When I looked at the sky as the moon started to cover the sun, it looked like any typical day. But magic happened when I put on special glasses to view the eclipse safely. It blocked out all the other distractions, and the moon's path over the sun was the only thing I saw. It was amazing!

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun's light and creating shadows or darkness during daylight hours. This alignment of the sun, earth, and moon during their orbits results in a captivating cosmic event. Solar eclipses, though relatively rare, offer profound insights into leadership dynamics that can guide and inspire us. As I spent time watching the eclipse process, because it is a process based on the slow orbit, four leadership lessons emerged. 

Small Actions Create Lasting Impact:

Just as the moon's gradual movement covers and uncovers the sun during an eclipse, small daily actions can significantly impact others' success over time. Consider the example of a leader who consistently provides feedback. While each piece of guidance may seem minor, the cumulative effect leads to substantial growth and success. Similarly, a lea

der who routinely communicates appreciation and recognition can foster a positive work culture, boosting team morale and productivity. Like the sun, earth, and moon's orbit, your leadership approach influences the trajectory of others' development.

Empowering Others Without Diminishing Their Light:

Much like the rim of light visible during a solar eclipse, effective leadership empowers others without overshadowing abilities. Reflect on moments where you've empowered your team to shine by trusting their expertise, providing autonomy, and celebrating their accomplishments. Macro-management instead of micro-management is affirming and your belief in their potential fuels others' confidence and brilliance.

Spreading Warmth and Support:

During a solar eclipse, the temporary drop in temperature highlights the significance of warmth in human interactions. Just as the sun's warmth is briefly obscured, leaders can inadvertently create a cold environment through lack of empathy or support. Conversely, leaders who show genuine care can create a warm and nurturing atmosphere where others feel valued and supported. Leaders who check in on team members during challenging times or offer flexibility to accommodate personal needs foster a sense of belonging and trust.

Clarity of Focus Enhances Engagement:

Just as wearing special glasses during a solar eclipse provides clarity of vision, your clear focus as a leader enhances team engagement and excellence. Reflect on how you communicate your vision, set clear goals, establish expectations, and remove distractions to help your team stay focused and aligned. Your clarity guides others' actions and fosters a sense of purpose and direction.

Leaders can illuminate the path for others or hinder their progress. Drawing inspiration from the eclipse, cultivate habits that positively impact your team, empower without overshadowing, foster warmth and support, and maintain clarity of focus. During the eclipse, change was possible – both covering and uncovering the light. Even if you have missteps, there is the opportunity to rebound and begin again with others, creating meaningful impacts, one person at a time.

Consider this quote as a reason to begin again –
"Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person."