In his recent blog post, Going Up to the Balcony, Larry Center reminds great leaders of the importance of stepping back amid their myriad of daily challenges that shift their focus to the problems themselves rather than finding solutions to them. This stepping back is captured in his powerful metaphor of going up to the balcony.
“Going up to the balcony represents a leadership perspective that gives us the ability to look at our issues in a new light. When we leave the orchestra section and climb up to the balcony, we can “look down” on our issues and problems in a new way. We can give ourselves permission to view the big picture. We can place our challenges in the proper perspective. We can view tough situations in light of past experience and future successes. We can more easily forgive ourselves for mistakes and apply the lessons learned from those errors. We can even learn to laugh at our own mistakes in judgment and vow to do better next time. When we are ‘too close to the forest to see the trees,’ we are unable to view the big picture. We become caught in our own emotions. We abandon our best leadership skills and surrender to the feelings of the moment.”
He concludes saying: “The next time you find yourself trapped in a negative spin cycle, so close to a problem that you cannot reason calmly and rationally, so frustrated that you are having difficulty engaging in productive thinking, pause. Give yourself a push to climb those stairs to your virtual balcony. Look down on your life, on your job, on your leadership. Appreciate all the good things you have achieved.”
May you remember always that your balcony is there for you, your place to find moments of quiet reflection that reground you. As an unknown author wrote: “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Cherish your times on your balcony. Let them open your ears and eyes that you further grow and learn and increase the richness, value and purpose of your magnificent life’s journey.
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!