Leadership Lessons from Dance – When to Teach and When to Learn

Recently at a performance team practice it was brought to my attention that my desire to help others and teach was getting in the way of my own learning and growth as a dancer. I was sacrificing my time to help others before I fully had all aspects of the dance routine to speed for myself which was hurting me in the long run. It was a good remind to pick and choose when to be “self-fish” and invest in myself rather than helping others every time I see them struggling. It’s not always the best time for me to be in a teaching mode. If I don’t allow myself to grow I will eventually not have much to teach. I have to build my capacity, sharpen my saw, and prepare myself to assist others. Sometimes I have to fully embrace being a student, a participant, and follow without stepping into a leadership role. Sometimes I have to observe and keep my mouth shut rather than sharing my opinions about what could be fixed.

Once it was brought to my attention I was able to reflect and realize how much of an impact it was having in other areas of my life. If I’m not there for myself like I am for others then I can’t be my best self.

This reminder also served to reinforce the Resilience Tree model that I speak about from my research on Black women aspiring to senior leadership positions. If I don’t make time for me to be nourished I won’t have enough in me to bloom and provide for future generations. Sometimes a tree has to be dormant for a season to prepare for its time to bloom.

Now that it has been pointed out it doesn’t make it any easier to address it. A habit has to be broken. A new motivation has to be set. I am hard wired to sacrifice myself and give to others. Knowing is different from doing but it is the first step on the path to change…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *