“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” ~ Jim Rohn
There’s a song by Sophie Ellis Bextor; ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’ with a catchy tune. It starts “There’s murder on the dance floor, but you better not kill the groove…” Sadly, as I am rather boring, instead of simply enjoying the song, the words remind me of an analogy that was drummed into me in my corporate leadership days. Sad but true. However, in my defense, this analogy is one of the biggest success factors of my career!
To explain, the principle of the Balcony and the dance floor is to be aware of where you are when making decisions for your business.
The dance floor is the equivalent of being ‘in’ the business. As the dance floor can be loud, manic, crowded, hot, tiring and suffocating, so can being caught ‘in’ the business. You’re so busy keeping up with the beat, your vision is limited, you’re trying not to run into people or get knocked over that you basically keep moving in circles, moving to where you think you need to go rather than being able to see what the best strategic move is.
The balcony is where you have a wide and expansive view of the whole dance floor. You can see all the moving parts, what area is crowded, the danger zones, where the exits are, your points of interest and over time you’ll be able to identify patterns occurring.
There is no right or wrong as to where to spend your time. In business it’s going to be on both. However, when making decisions for your business there is a preference where to position yourself.
In the majority, I see leaders spending their time on the dance floor with limited if any time on the balcony. And this is where ‘murder on the dance floor’ can happen. Being caught up putting out fires, seeing clients, chasing your tail, simply surviving the fear of ‘killing the groove’ is real. And you need to ‘kill this groove’ from time to time to enable you to identify where the danger spots are in your business. If you don’t, you’re running blind and this can cause you to make educated (or uneducated) guesses for your business rather than educated and strategic decisions.
Leaders need to elevate themselves to the balcony for strategic thinking and decision-making. To be on the balcony is to be able to see what is happening in your business without all the noise, heat and busyness of the dance floor. It’s where you can really see what is going on and adjust accordingly. This is where you can empower yourself and others, influence outcomes and influence people.
There’s time for both in business but as I learnt the hard way by being caught up on the dance floor for way too long and getting burnt out, you need to make time for the balcony.
The moments of elevation and silence will enable you to be smarter and more strategic with your dance moves whatever the occasion.