Leadership: You are always performing! Leadership: Why bother? I know, I know, you are here to read about Leadership. I will get to that bit very soon. I believe that you only do it once. Yes that’s right, once is enough! More than that would be sheer stupidity. I mean, why on earth would you allow yourself to make that same mistake twice, or even three times?! Ha! Not me, no not me…. You see, I did it once. I remember it all too well. I was on stage, in front of 3000 paying people and yes, I forgot my words. Blank. No clue what was next. Not the faintest idea. I managed to fill the next 15 seconds (that felt like 15 weeks) with my own rendition of ‘sha mana hana ha…….’ Classic. Much to the amusement of the other 20 people on stage. Yep. I screwed up! For a split second, I stopped performing and started thinking about something altogether different…..and BAM! It happened. No words. I can categorically state, that it was one hell of a scary moment. At the time I ‘stopped performing’ I had no words to sing and the attention was not on me. That’s not an excuse. It was reality in that moment. But it bit me on the backside a few seconds later. As a leader, can you genuinely say it is ok to ‘stop performing’? Leadership: What is he dribbling on about? A rather sharp and insightful colleague of mine said to someone in the group that we were coaching, ‘You may not be singing, but you are always performing’ Genius. How true. For this individual, they switched some magic on when they were in the spotlight and performing. The second ‘their moment’ had ended they switched off. They became an observer and no longer a participant. Having spent many years in large theatre companies performing some of the worlds greatest ever pieces of musical theatre, you learn this notion quickly. Often by screwing it up! “You may not be singing, but you are always performing” Imagine the experience for an audience if, after your line, you simply retreated and switched off whilst someone else took centre stage. What a disconnected performance that would be right? The same applies to Leadership and Leadership Training. If you have any desire to be extraordinary, you too must remember that you are always performing. Even though it may not be you speaking on the conference call, your opinion being voiced in the meeting or your turn to take the limelight, you are always performing. The moment you stop – inconsistency, mixed messages, disengagement and disconnected. People look to others and take their cue on appropriate behaviour. You can’t control their choices. You can control your own. Leadership: How do you do this? There is only one step to become better at this so it is at least, straightforward. However, straightforward does not mean easy. The key to all of this is to be present. I will talk about that more in many of the blogs I write, as it is critical to becoming ‘extraordinary’ and sits at the very heart of performance. Being present is about being here, right now, in this moment. Not being lost in your head, where I was when I forgot my words, but being here and responding to what is happening. It is a life skill. There is no destination to arrive at of ‘perfectly present’ – it is a journey. It starts, with practice. Start small. Plan 2-3 moments throughout your day where you will concentrate on being present and connected to what is happening. The moment you drift off into your mind, recognise that, and come back to the here and now. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. In all of our workshops on Leadership and Leadership Training, we push this point, as without it, how can you ever be truly extraordinary.