Do the butterflies bring out the magic in you?

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How do you respond to the butterflies in your stomach…do they bring out the best in you?

All good things in any enterprise emanate from the precise moment customers become happy. As leaders, we need to embrace the butterflies in our stomachs as the fuel to produce excellence.  Because that’s what customers expect, and it makes them happy.

Yesterday, I previewed the Leading Together performance by the Breaking Ice Theatre Company. We commissioned the show as the centerpiece of our first Good Leadership Conference (this Friday). I need their help and expertise to pry open the hearts and minds of my customers — to demystify our fears and help us find the joy in multicultural leadership.

As the actors stretched their bodies, warmed their voices and focused, I couldn’t help but feel the butterflies. Six actors. Four men: two white, one Asian, one African American. Two women: one white, one multiracial. A blended workforce. I was both their “customer” and a leader with his reputation on the line.  We were oddly united in our endeavors; me seated, they standing with intention. Both with butterflies, anticipating excellence.

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The Breaking Ice company, rehearsing our new leadership development performance: Leading Together

The preview was staged in a dance studio.  Just like all of the dance studios you’ve seen on TV. We customers sat with our backs to a blank wall, facing floor to ceiling mirrors on the other three sides. I strategically chose my central perch with the intention of simultaneously surveying actors and audience.

Experiential learning is powerful.  We all love movement, music, tension, chatter and laughter. But will the leaders who are “my customers” appreciate our theatrics?

Twenty minutes raced by like an open-wheeled Indy car.  I was so intensely engaged, I forgot to gauge the interest of my fellow customers.  Collectively, we hadn’t moved an inch or made a peep.  Except for appreciative laughter and sympathy sighs.  It was magical.  The customers were happy! At the end, the butterflies poured down my cheeks onto my notepad. No one said this was going to be easy.

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Butterflies in my stomach: will live theatre deliver the impact I expect about good leadership?

I am so grateful for the leaders in my life who believe in our pursuit of goodness. Leveraging the excellence of my Breaking Ice friends, I learned so much about myself that I’m starving to absorb the show again.  I’ll be a customer again this Friday.

Good leaders make a habit of going out of their way to find edgy, innovative ways to make customers happy. And they embrace the butterflies of risk as part of the magic of their endeavors.

If you have a ticket to the Good Leadership Conference, I will see you on Friday.  If you don’t have a ticket, I’m both happy and sorry to say that we are sold out.  I’m also happy the whole conference will be videotaped and we can find ways to share the magic with you.  All you have to do is send me a note and ask…

And I’d also like to know…how do the butterflies in your stomach bring out the magic in you?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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