The Ballerina
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Have you ever wondered about the specific role men play in the ballet? Why are they there? What is their purpose? In an effort to be completely transparent, the closest I have ever been to the ballet is the amazing Christmas concerts that Symphoria puts on which usually include a few numbers from The Nutcracker with some very talented young ballet dancers. Now, back to my question: why are the men there? Rather than sounding like a total idiot in writing about things I rarely, if ever see, how about pairs figure skating. I have seen a lot figure skating. I love the Winter Olympics. Why are the men there?  I promise this is going somewhere.

I was recently reading a book on strengthening marriage, and the author asked the same question about the ballet, why are the men there. His answer was so telling, “to make the ballerina look good, jump higher and become the best ballerina she can be and then fade into the shadows.” I see the same parallel in pairs figure skating. The male skater is there to lift and throw his partner as high and far as possible then fade away from the limelight.

As I thought on this idea, my mind went to leadership. What a fitting comparison with the role of a great leader. It’s the leader’s job to help each team member jump higher and spin faster. It’s the leader’s job to lift each team member to a height they couldn’t achieve on their own, and once they have done it fade into the shadows. Leaders who get to this level of leadership are rare and are loved by their teams. Their teams are high performing, engaged, and innovative. These leaders are not only successful; they are living a life of significance.

How about you? What type of leader do you want to be? Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we take a deeper dive into this amazing aspect of leadership and team performance.

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