I recently attended a father daughter weekend with my 13-year-old daughter, Clara. We had a great time, and grew closer to each other in the process.
Saturday night we had a special dinner with just she and I sitting at a small table. We ate, laughed and enjoyed our food.
After dinner, the camp director announced that we would be learning some dance moves and then hitting the dance floor with our daughters. I immediately tensed up. Me? Dance? This is not exactly an area of strength in my life.
Well, after some instruction, Clara and I took to the dance floor. We had a blast two-stepping through several songs. While I won’t be dancing with the stars any time soon (or ever), the time together was priceless.
This experience illustrates some important leadership principles:
1) You cannot lead, or improve, if you never start. Although a little hesitant, we stepped out on the dance floor and started to mimic our instructors.
As leaders, once we start the project or major initiative, we create opportunities to lead and improve ourselves and others.
2) Good leaders appreciate the process while they advance toward the goal. About the third time around the dance floor, I realized that this was more than trying not to step on Clara’s feet.
I was able to enjoy the grandness of learning how to dance with my 13-year-old and appreciate the moment for what it was – a special time to be with her.
Leaders know that progress comes from employing the right processes. Embracing the process helps the leader create an atmosphere of joyful engagement.
3) Leaders succeed by continual improvement. As we shuffled to the music, our steps gradually synchronized and we began to see improvements. Confidence in the basic steps allowed us to branch out into some fancy spins.
Business is like that. We secure our future success by improving upon yesterday’s performance. Leaders know the power of continual improvement.
The music is playing. The time is now. How will you dance today?