Leadership is Like the Flying Trapeze

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Leadership is like being on the trapeze.

For one thing, it can be helpful to have a safety net that can hold you. There will be times when your reach exceeds your grasp, and a safety net can make a real difference. It is important to try new approaches and explore new possibilities. A safety net will help ensure that you are around to learn the lessons your experiments have for you.

It is also important to know who you can trust. When I am on the leadership trapeze, I need to know that I can depend on the insights and experience of the people who are there with me. I hesitate to let go and fly out into the air when I have serious questions about the people who are out there with me.

I need to know and trust myself, as well as knowing and trusting them.

It is also important to practice. No one does their very best the first time they try. The more I practice, the more clearly I appreciate my own potential. I can do things the tenth, or the twentieth, time I try that I was not able to do the first time. Practice helps me become better.

That is why it is helpful to practice what you value.

The most important way, for me, that leadership is like being on the trapeze is that it is all about flying. The safety net, trust, and practice have very little to do with the time I spend holding onto the trapeze; they are all about letting go.

Leadership is not about building the best network or having the best numbers. It is not about leading the most satisfied team.

Leadership is about the time you spend flying.

How is your leadership like being on the trapeze?

What do you enjoy the most about flying?

[Image by Mark Setchell]

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