Leaders set the stage.
As stagehands, leaders readily leave their egos outside the stage door. They shun the spotlight. In fact they quickly get behind the spotlight to shine the light on others. Consider Alexander the Great.
As a leading stage hand, he visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher. Diogenes said, “Only stand out of my light.” And he did.
Leaders regularly set the stage for others to star in the play.
Leaders know they are more potent when they are not in the spotlight or even on stage.
In fact, “The real test of leadership is when management isn’t present – which is about 70 percent of the time,” observes author Ken Blanchard.
Reality check. Are you standing in someone’s light or lighting someone’s stand?
In lighting someone’s stand, leaders leverage talent behind the scenes. John Sculley, the former Chief Executive Officer at Apple, noted that leaders are like impresarios, those behind-the-scenes producers who organize and often finance concerts, plays, or operas.
Impresarios, supersized stagehands, ensure that the resources are available, and that the setting and stages are reviewed and updated regularly to enhance performance.
To help you focus on the significance of periodically resetting the working environment (the stage) for your employees (the actors) to perform at their best, consider the following ditty:
CLEARING THE WAY
A leader may use just the right words,
To cage the brightest and best of birds.
Those birds may sing throughout the day,
Creating greater productivity in every way.
But suddenly their creative spirit is no longer free,
When the birds are caught in their own debris.
Then leaders step in to clear the way so the birds
can again sing away.
For more on clearing the way for others, see the first book in the 3-book Leadership Mints Series: now available on Amazon.com titled: THINKING Like a Leader.
That book on thinking like a leader is the first of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading with short stories (called Leadership Mints) you can grab ‘n go like a candy mint.