Leadership Superior Mirage – similarity with the ‘Hovering Ship’ optical illusion

Last week, I found some interesting articles and videos on my news feed related to a strange phenomenon that caused a ship to appear as if it were floating in the air off of England. Original image credit (DAVID MORRIS / APEX)

BBC meteorologist David Braine explains it, the occurrence — which he called a “superior mirage” — is caused by “special atmospheric conditions that bend light.” These types of mirages are rare in the United Kingdom but happen occasionally in the Arctic.

“Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends light towards the eyes of someone standing on the ground or on the coast, changing how a distant object appears,” he added. A YouTube search of “superior mirage” brings up a small number of videos showing the illusion.

The link to the news can be found here: https://people.com/human-interest/hovering-ship-photo-result-optical-illusion/

When I reflected on the mirage occurrence, I realized how such illusions are common in our day-to-day lives. Some of these illusions are inherently embedded in our thinking and behaviors – when our belief system refuses to accept reality and creates a mirage of its own. Given my passion for the topic of leadership, I found a few interesting observations and findings in the Business Agility Report (Page 20). Leaders continue to be illusioned by their perception of progress and success. It is important that leaders at every level conciously create an environment of psychological safety to demystify the illusions and assumptions that leaders make. The sooner we understand the ground reality, the better our actions can be.

Have you observed similar phenomenon in your organisations or around you? Please share your thoughts and comments.

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