“Holding Space” is one of the world’s most powerful leadership concepts.

But few leaders understand its true benefit.

Here’s what it is (and how it’ll make you a better leader):
I used to think “holding space” was some touchy-feely concept.

But after leading 1000s of people, I've learned how critical it is.

Even Elon "holds space" at Tesla.
Holding space is creating conditions for greatness to emerge.

It’s shaping how your team thinks, focuses, and creates.

I’ve found it most helpful with these 4 business activities:
1. Designing Products

2. Maintaining Focus

3. Preserving Core Values

4. Having Difficult Conversations

I have friends who were early at Tesla.

They’d tell me how Elon would demand innovation and high standards.

Here’s a prime example:

Designing the key for the Model S.

Here’s the story.
Elon wanted everything about the Model S to be revolutionary.

Even the key.

He challenged his design team to build something amazing.
Early designs for the key were underwhelming and over budget.

But Elon continued to “hold space” for the designers.

He was insistent on innovation and greatness.

Then, there was a breakthrough.
The key design would mimic the design of the car itself.

You could control the car by pressing the corresponding parts of the key.

• Open the frunk by pressing the frunk
• Open the trunk by pressing the trunk
• Open the charge port by press and holding the charge port.
The “impossible key” was one of the many breakthroughs in bringing the Model S to market.

But there are many other stories like this at Tesla.
Tesla is one of the most innovative companies in the world.

Elon understands the value of holding space for his team.

When you shape the “space” in which they are to work, they build amazing things.

Steve Jobs once said, “Focus is about saying no.”

Shiny objects will always threaten your team’s ability to focus.

Leaders hold their team squarely in the space of maximum impact.

They create space for their team to focus on the most critical task at hand.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.

Great leaders protect their company’s core values at all costs.

Here’s how.
Someone or something will always challenge your company’s culture.

Your job as a leader is to define the space where boundaries exist.

Then, when someone crosses those boundaries, hold the line...

Use it as a teaching moment to reinforce your culture.

Nobody likes having tough conversations.

They force us to be honest and put our guard down.
Leaders understand difficult conversations are better had sooner rather than later.

They take initiative.

They show vulnerability first.

Vulnerability begets vulnerability.

They respect their team by defaulting to communicate, even when it might be tough.
Those are four examples of how intentionally “holding space” can make you a better leader.

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