Quite recently, Rubik’s Cube marked 40 years since its official launch in 1980. Created and developed by a Hungarian teacher, Erno Rubik, to explain architectural concepts to his students, it ended up becoming the world’s most famous and sought-after toy.
They were originally called the ‘magic cube’. It nearly has sold around more than 500 million pieces worldwide. According to the Guinness Guide of Records, the original format is 3x3x3 cubes, and more recently, it has been transformed into other twisty puzzles like the megamix, pyarminx, clock, etc. In fact, a Frenchman, Grégoire Pfenning, has even made a 33x33x33 version which is the largest magic cube with 6,153 pieces.
While many have been fascinated by design, others have mildly played around with it – a feeble attempt at conquering the cube. However, it has been discovered that the process of learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube is a fantastic lesson in leadership. Keep reading and know the 7 ways to learn about leadership by playing with Rubik’s Cube.
1. Achieving a common goal
You only arrive at a solved state of the Rubik’s cube when each face of the cube is correctly aligned. Similarly, at a workplace, a team works towards a common business goal. A team with such clear objectives, which is led by influential leadership, tends to produce better results.
2. Each piece is unique
In a team, individualities make it whole. Each team player contributes unique values in obtaining the final result. The role of the leader and each team member is to understand and appreciate these differences. This will also help them manage and reconcile when there are deviations and redirect the team smoothly without losing sight of the final objective.
3. A system like the Rubik’s cube
The entire cube does not function smoothly if even a single piece is missing, defective or even jammed. Similarly, at a workplace, the ability of a leader to give the right momentum to the team is what delivers expected results. A team’s movement, synergy and strategy towards goal achievement is highly dependent on the quality of leadership.
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4. Interlinked parts
In a Rubik’s cube, each piece is linked with the other. Therefore, each time the layers and individual pieces are moved, they produce different results. Such a similar situation occurs when working together with other individuals in a team, wherein individual impact influences everyone. In moments when there is miscommunication or confusion, cohesion is highly crucial. Each individual communication can help in delivering results based on trust, creativity and collaboration.
5. An individual impacts the whole
For a team, individual performance is directly proportional to the success of the entire team. When self-centred individuals disconnect from the goals that need to be achieved, the teams do not work and wear out. Therefore, individual decisions impact the team as a whole.
6. Driving strategic thinking
Cubing encourages people to think of different solutions and focus deeply on their thought processes. In a workplace, this helps individuals realize that the closeness between members of an organization has a direct impact on the delivered result. The leader should, therefore, analyze, feel and guide the individuals, thereby motivating them to align with the objectives.
7. Optimal operation and communication
Communication is highly crucial for the functioning of any team. The verbal and non-verbal flow of the communication needs to be appropriate to help the team achieve the goal it pursues. If not, there is a high possibility that the performance will be impaired and poor.
On the Whole…
Often problem-solving, for leaders, begins with creativity but over time, the creativity shifts into a process that enables solving the team problems at scale in a repeated and predictable manner.
Creativity, perspective, and patience help create a better problem-solving process. But what many leaders fail to do is go the distance. When a problem is solved, the lessons are not captured, and the process is not outlined.
In the words of Erno Rubik, “Learning is not the accumulation of knowledge. It is building the capacity to find new possibilities in novel circumstances.”
The Rubik’s cube also teaches us a lesson of simplicity – a toy with no battery and no instructional manual became a global sensation. It appeals to everyone across generations and continues to challenge our minds in different ways. This shows that solutions to complex problems are most often simple, and maybe, leaders should learn to un-complicate their thinking by building patience and perspective.