Leadership can be likened to a high wire act. It takes practice to develop the skills to walk confidently, maintain balance, and stay focused. The higher you go the more challenging it becomes.
Gymnasts use a balance beam that has a wide enough base to perform challenging maneuvers. A lower level of leadership can be likened to walking the balance beam. There’s room to move and if you fall it’s not very far to the ground. You get back on and try again.
Leaders rise in their careers from the beam, to the mid level tight wire, to the highwire. Entrepreneurs may climb straight to the top. The risk increases and leadership becomes more complex the higher one goes. It takes greater courage, skill, and experience to traverse the highwire. It can be exhilarating and stressful at the same time. And if you don’t have a safety net, you fall, that’s it. I you survive the fall, it can be a long and hard recovery.
A high wire artist carries a bar to adjust to the shifts that can lead to a loss of balance. When there is a pull in one direction and then in another, the high wire artist doesn’t overcompensate. Once leaders find their balance point, they can make subtle adjustments to remain balanced.
Leaders know the experience of being pulled one way or the other by demands for results, unexpected crises, strained relationships, group conflicts, loss of valuable employees, drops in sales. In order to maintain your balance, find ways to develop your personal and professional abilities so you can skillfully make the necessary corrections that will keep you moving toward your vision of success.
In a high wire act, there is someone who prepares, encourages, and gives assurance to the artist. The wise leader doesn’t try to walk the highwire alone. As a leadership coach I can help you stay poised, keep focus, maintain confidence, access inner capacities, and equip with abilities necessary for maintaining poise, purpose, and productivity while progressing toward your desired outcome.
© Dr. Ethan Raath 2013
HIGHWIRE LEADERSHIP LLC