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Leadership at the peak

The strategy dance

By George W Nyabadza

LIFE is a game and it’s all about strategy. Every dimension of our lives is driven by the way we strategise. He who has the best strategy wins

all the time. The nature of that win maybe moral or immoral. It really doesn’t matter.

Each result must be analysed in the context of one’s own value system.

In a very complex world it is not the pursuit of one single strategy that will guarantee a successful result.

Every aspect of our lives needs its own strategy: careers; family; children; health; sport and our corporate lives. In order to succeed in the game one needs the ability to dance.

Think of a combination of ballet, waltz, a vibrant raga reggae swing and soul rhythmic dance all mixed together into a beautiful blend of balanced body moves. Each move is different and is governed by certain mental and physical processes. In the same manner that all moves blend into a smooth flow, so is the strategic dance that we are involved in made up of different moves governed by specific mental and physical processes.

Understanding the dance should make participating in the game of life easy. Unfortunately life is not designed to be easy. I have said this too many times in seminars over the past year that I tell myself that I was being prophetic as the past few months have proven this rather dramatically.

A colleague of mine says that the world is a cruel place. I think it’s just the nature of the world and life. The way life is designed means that you will be unexpectedly side-winded by challenges of all sorts of magnitude. Each side-winder must be reacted to by an appropriate strategy which should automatically form an integral part of the dance.

So depending on the number of side-winders you experience on your life’s journey your strategic dance can be quite complex, but dance you must.

Most people stumble when they don’t have the mental and physical ability and resilience to create new dances whilst maintaining the rhythm with the old. I am learning a new dance right now. It’s not easy but dance I must, and dance, I will.

Corporately the same principle holds true. Your whole organisation is on a stage and the whole world is watching it dance. The level of applause is dependent on the fluidity of the overall dance. You have a dance for each function (marketing, finance, etc) and for the corporate whole.

The question is not how well you dance in the predictable routines; it’s what you do when you get unexpectedly side-winded by the ever shifting and unpredictable market forces that you are forever exposed to. You have the ability to create an organisation that is able to dance irrespective of the forces that come against it. Just as in your personal life there are a few principles that are worthy to bear in mind as you create a nimble dancer out of your organisation.

Master the basic moves

Just as there are basic dance skills, you should learn and master the basic dance for your life or your organisation. The basics maybe made up of such routine issues as health, family, education or corporate functions such as marketing, treasury etc. Your basic dance must be improved upon regularly.

In other words your basic dance level today should be significantly superior to what it was five years ago. Everything in your life must improve.

Practise for the unexpected

Life is not designed to be forever smooth and predictable. Expect the unexpected. Expect to be side-winded at anytime. So how do you practise for the unexpected? Equip yourself mentally and emotionally to cope with life’s most difficult challenges. Corporately prepare your people mentally and emotionally to cope with life’s unexpected moments.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that all your reactions to the side-winders will be rational. Sometimes side-winders are of such magnitude that you react in unpredictable ways out of the deep dark depths of the pain and difficulty of the moment. However, when the light dawns think like a dancer, become smooth and nimble and dance your way through every challenge.

South African-based George W Nyabadza is the chief executive officer of Achievement Success Dynamics International. For more information on leadership development programmes please visit our website www.achievement-success.com or e-mail George on info@achievement-success.com

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