What Michael Jordan Knows about Kinetic Stability

14488009097_e53a939d37_k This post is by Dennis Rader

Jordan’s poised confidence on the basketball court emerged from years of effort and success at his chosen endeavor. He has reflected deeply and consistently about the challenges, both internal and external, of the art and science of his sport. He found the factors, whether internal or external, holding him back—and got rid of them. It is extremely difficult, and unusual, as his opponents will attest, to either shake his confidence or disrupt his focus. Jordan is a reflective practitioner of the game of basketball, who knows how to achieve and maintain a state of flow while playing, with tremendous kinetic stability at his chosen endeavor.

Kinetic Stability is the personal or organizational ability to maintain, repair, and even develop one’s GYROSCOPE and WINGS in the midst of dynamically complex situations and life’s assaults upon balance and direction—to keep moving with purpose and effectiveness despite disruptive influences.

Image a canoe scuffling with the rushing current to impose its will for direction and momentum. Can it get to where it wants to go? Can it resist the attempts of the current to confuse and capsize it? Can the canoeists overcome their fear and rejoice in the challenges of riding the current? Can they develop kinetic stability?


Kinetic Stability is the best indicator of possible intelligent action. Problems are consistently faced and solved; products are consistently imagined and produced. 

Those individuals and organizations that lack Kinetic Stability will more easily wobble, weaken, and fall to the wolves. They will lack the wisdom to forge strength and effectiveness.

Individuals and organizations that have Kinetic Stability are more likely to establish and maintain the psychological state of flow, the momentum of effectiveness. They continuously learn.

Good learners, whether individual or organizational, increasingly move with purpose and effectiveness despite disruptive influences—because they learn from those influences. (Influence means “to change the flow.”)

Change is mandatory—Growth is not. Individuals and organizations with Kinetic Stability consistently find ways to choose and forge growth—to move constructively.

Kinetic Stability indicates the “flexible soundness” of an identity—its true integrity.

Take some time to reflect on these points about Kinetic Stability and come back next week for the second installment!

Photo by Angie Accarrino