Conducting Your Circus

My dad once told me to pretend that my arms were tied behind my back so I could not use them while standing in a small circle on the ground and not be able or allowed to go beyond the boundaries of it. Then manage.

At the time I was a young manager in a small business. I was running around trying to manage the business like a one armed paper hanging headless chicken. We were getting things done, but I was frustrated and exhausted. I needed to learn how to delegate, train, teach, communicate and lead better.

The mental picture of me standing in a circle with my arms tied behind my back still comes to mind in many situations. If anything, it serves well to make me take the time to think and plan a bit more before taking action.

My dad would point out how the conductor of the circus doesn’t also perform the acts. He conducts.

Are you an effective conductor? Even if you’re only in charge of yourself, you are a better team member when you understand the value of letting the conductors do the conducting. Start there. At some point, everybody conducts his or her own circus.