What Leadership can learn from ‘Clowning’

If your reaction to this blog title was disbelief at the possibility of a connection, then read on…. I felt the same! A few years ago a colleague a friend of mine mentioned that she did her master’s thesis on this topic and it conjured up images of a circus act which didn’t connect in any favourable way in my mind with leadership.

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My colleague, Annick runs a leadership development business in Geneva and I admire her for bringing her personal passions (both clowning and sailing) to her work. I signed up to one of her ‘leadership labs‘ a couple of years ago as the use of theatre for leadership development was definitely unknown territory for me.

What did I learn? I was astounded at what leadership and clowning have in common. When I say ‘clown’, think Marcel Marceau and explore some of these possible connections.

  • The need for a strong presence
  • Visibility and exposure (good and bad) that results from putting yourself out there
  • An ability to connect
  • Being in the moment… being able to be fully present and aware of events and possible consequences as they happen
  • Adaptability to whatever the environment presents
  • Ability to feel the mood
  • Not taking oneself too seriously.

The leadership lab I took part in was a fascinating experience for me personally and taught me to broaden my perspectives. By stepping into a space I was less familiar with, I learnt.

 

Annick is now taking this another step further and she has a new value propositions ‘the corporate jester’. If you have a conference or meeting coming up and you are looking for something a little different, this is definitely one to be explored. Annick brings her character ‘Margret’ to an event and through use of humour and play, she can:

  • Raise awareness of existing patterns, behaviours and habits in a non-traditional way.
  • Bring across key messages, even on sensitive topics, in a light hearted yet memorable manner
  • Demystify issues, complex or sensitive topics in a humorous way.
  • Raise awareness of existing defense mechanism and stimulate readiness to change of behaviours,
  • Suggest alternatives & different ways of looking at things
  • Generate a sense of togetherness, connecting people around the common issues without blame, motivating them to work together in the same direction.

I look forward to seeing Margret in action in Ireland!

 

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