• Leaders: Flamenco, talent and the safely dangerous!

    Date: 2012.04.12 | Category: Leadership Testimonial | Tags:

    I have recently returned from a short break in Granada, Spain.  A key  highlight for me , in addition to the wonderful Alhambra,  was an evening of Flamenco in the Sacromonte district. Everything about the evening the singing, the music and above all the dance was exhilerating and I left in awe of the talent I had witnessed.

    The performance felt quite raw, stripped down to the essentials, no excessive stage management or background sets or amazing costumes. Just a set of chairs, a guitar, three singers and three dancers and yet the experience was electric!

    What we were drawn into was an experience which had at its roots a tradition going back hundreds of years, which has kept evolving and somehow remained connected to its core purpose, to the heart and soul of the performer and observer. The songs, the steps, the guitar chords have been rehearsed and adapted over many hours and still came across as fresh and enlivening to both performer and audience member, with the capacity to surprise within the dance, within the song. Just when you think you know the rhythm , the dance move, a little flourish, a twist, a departure builds into  a heart stopping crescendo!

    So, despite the tradition this was not a performance centred around the safe and known. The individual performances pushed to their limits and beyond, the dancers in particular, to something that was more the” safely dangerous “, a space where innovation and flowering of talent can emerge. So we witnessed wild passionate flourishes, dancing balanced as finely as if on a pin nail, each swirl threatening to destablise the dancer on the one hand and on the other the dancer’s discipline and control which somehow pulled it  all together into something magnificent, bringing the audience every step and every feeling of the way.

    All of this played out in a context of respect where each dancer , each musician , each singer made space for the other, for their moment to shine, encouraging one another on to step into the ‘safely dangerous’ space, mindful of the individual performance and the experience which lay behind it.

    So what are the lessons or connections back to this series of blogs on talent and leadership?

    When you strip away all of the hype , the technology, the accreditations, the good practice models etc have you got a team that can bring high performance day in day out?

    A team who are mindful of the talent and potential that each member brings and who help create environments for it to shine?

    A team who can go beyond the safe and known and into the safely dangerous the realm of the leading edge, the difference that makes the difference?

    A team who have the necessary disciplines to pull back from the dangerous?

    A team that connects with their customers in a powerful way?

    A team that above all knows its core purpose and connects to it with both head and heart?

    A team of ‘Multipliers” (1) who add to one another’s talent, spot and nurture one another’s potential whilst keeping the bar high and banishing the mediocre?

    What do you need to do today to enable the ‘ multiplier ‘ in everyone to emerge?

    (1) Visit previous posts for more information on ” Multipliers”