Where do leaders safely learn to fail? Where do we get a chance to learn how much we still have to learn? Where do we get the experience of missing our marks, of flubbing the lines and tripping our roles without ruining the whole 'production'?
Darcy Rice is one of the elders in my church and widely respected theater arts teacher at a local high school. He is really good at what he does. Here he discusses the good fortune of having a bad dress rehearsal.
"I use every teaching skill and performance trick I have accumulated over many years as an actor, director, writer and teacher. I explain, encourage, cajole, insist, cheerlead, demonstrate and inspire. I do whatever it takes to get the best performance from every member of the cast. But ultimately, they must be allowed to fail.
This is the secret weapon of the first dress rehearsal. By allowing students to fail while still in the protected environment of rehearsal, we are giving them the greatest educational opportunity possible. Through a myriad of mistakes, dropped lines, misplaced props, mangled dances and the inevitable missed entrance, students are forced to take responsibility for their own work. It is through these “mistakes” that the greatest learning happens. The student who misses his entrance, and accepts personal responsibility for doing so, will never miss that entrance again."
Do we who work with younger leaders give them places to fail while protected? And where do those of us who are often in the spotlight get the opportunity to work on and work out the things we don't yet have 'down'? For me, being a supervisor to younger staff and a coach to leaders is an opportunity to keep cultivating a culture of rehearsal and learning. Creating environments for every leader to be a learners is what good leadership is really about.
With thanks to Darcy Rice and you can find the rest of this good article here.