Byron's Babbles

Don’t Join The Circus

Recently I heard it said that the COVID-19 Global Pandemic has made leaders into contortionists and policy making into a circus contortionist act. I thought about that comment a lot and with all the latest issues that are becoming politicized, I concluded that, yes, that is happening. We need to stop! Leaders should not be contortionists. I’ve not been to a lot of circuses in my day but I do remember one act that still sticks in my mind. A large man folded himself into a small container and was smiling and laughing while he did it. I remember thinking, “How in the world did he do that?” The whole ordeal had to be very uncomfortable!  How many leaders have we seen lately that bend over backwards and in odd ways trying to be everything to everyone? We’re also seeing policies being made the same way in many cases. It really becomes like a circus act to form opinions, roles, cultures and communities that are a poor match and are ultimately awkward and far from helpful. Again, being a contortionist is not a good fit (pun intended) for leaders. During times like these, and really any time, we need to be large and in charge and do what is right, not what fits in the container of the day.

This is not to say, however, that we should not be flexible or provided flexibility. First, leaders need to recognize situations in which old behaviors are not working. Next, we need to decide how to approach problems/issues/challenges, including what new behaviors or approaches are feasible, and which will accomplish the community’s goals within the restraints of the situation. When acting on flexibility we need to be creative and take a stance of inquiry. Additionally, we need to have accountability to check our progress. Let’s stick to our core values and not contort.

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