Leadership Partners Blog

The Business of Dirty Dancing: Executive Leadership

What is the connection here?  Dirty Dancing is a movie about coming of age in the 1950′s and business is…. well business.  Swayze’s character in the movie suffers from the same problem that many employees face, an inability or unwillingness to tell the people who need to hear “it” what they need to hear.  Swayze couldn’t tell the boss that his idea for the final dance was less than good and we can’t tell our boss that her idea is less than good.  But why?  Fear.  Fear of what?  “I don’t want to lose my job.”  This is part of the Brutus Dilemma.

Each of us has been faced with a situation where the boss would benefit from something we could say, but we resist.  Have we seen the boss lash out at a co-worker or are we assuming this is what would happen?  Either way leads to keeping our mouth shut.  That snot nosed kid boss’ son in Dirty Dancing might have fired Swayze, but your boss?  Probably not.  If you have information that you resist sharing you are accepting the direction picked by the boss, you are quietly agreeing.

Our new book Resolving the Brutus Dilemma focuses on what leaders needs to understand in order to change.  The basis are having the courage to tell others what they need to hear and doing so with respect.  This also means having the courage to strive for excellence without sacrificing people en route.  Principles for executive leadership are really the same as the principles for greatness in Socrates’ time.  Just because an idea isn’t brand new doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.  Gravity is old, but the principles are still valid.  (Special thanks to a client for pointing that one out.)

Have questions?  Check our our services page or CALL US!  Talking with a person always provides more targeted answers.

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