Supervisors, Stretch Yourselves

I’ll start this blog with a secret I don’t usually share (though I suppose I gave a part of this away last week). I’m a closet song and dance man; more the singing, not so much the dancing.

Sometimes people in charge get a bit askew in their leading because they haven’t taken time to stretch – to get outside of themselves to do something different. Too much time focused on the cares of the workplace can cause a rather myopic perspective (a fancy phrase for tunnel vision).

Here I am after the final night of performances in a local production of The Sound of Music. I was playing the part of Max. When the director of the show called to ask if I was interested in auditioning for the part, I have to confess I was not. Spending countless hours in rehearsals during the summer was not my idea of a good time. I knew it would not be a quick and easy thing. But with my wife’s encouragement, I went ahead with the idea. Looking back, I am grateful for having had the experience.

After the production had ended, I had time to reflect. What had I learned from this experience? Though the experience took time away from what I had planned, I had to admit that through this participation I had the chance to work with new people and experience new things. It fed me, so to speak, in a way I don’t normally get fed. A colleague of mine, Dr. Rebecca Cory, summed it up most appropriately. “As leaders we need to remember to get out of the day to day responsibilities and feed our spirits, whether it be through theater or something else.” Getting outside of our usual self allows us to stretch and grow. Anyone who oversees others should be doing this. It allows us to see things in new ways, tap into different ways of thinking. Stepping outside of work can help supervisors do better at work.  I made time to give myself this unique experience and I’m glad I did.

What’s something new or different you could be doing to give yourself some new experiences?

My suggestion, whatever that something is, go for it. If you have a desire to do something, chances are there’s a reason you’re feeling this. So go for it!