As a leader there is value in spending time both:
- On the balcony – getting a big picture perspective removed from day to day responsibilities and
- On the dance floor – accomplishing day to day tasks to make progress as an organization.
Spending time in either location can be productive, however you cannot spend your time in one place or another.
As I have entered into a new leadership setting – as pastor of First United Methodist Church in El Dorado, KS – I have found that it has been particular important to make sure that I spend some time on the balcony. The day to day responsibilities of transitioning into a new role can overwhelm the time needed to take a breath and reflect on the big picture of life and ministry. As I prepare to begin my fourth month in this appointment, I have been making progress on spending time in both places.
One reply on “Spending Time on the Balcony and the Dance Floor”
Andrew, My immediate thought was that is not really the best analogy one could use. Being on the balcony may show you what is happening but you won’t get a feel for the interactions that are taking place on the dance floor.
And if you are on the dance floor, you are only interacting with one or two people and trying to avoid interaction with the other couples on the dance floor.
Right now, I would think that a better analogy might be the comparison of the coaches in the press box and the coaches on the field during a football game. The coaches in the press box have a view of the field that shows all the players; the coaches on the field hopefully have a sense of how the game is flowing. It takes the two groups together to make the changes during the game in order to win the game. That’s not the best analogy that one could use but it jumps out right now.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. (Henry David Thoreau)
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My blog is “Thoughts From The Heart On The Left” and deals with topics of faith and science and the interaction between the two; I would be interested in reading your comments.