On a recent podcast I heard Luke Bobilak talking about leadership, and how it’s important to change your perspective as a leader. Leaders should imagine they are at a dance, he said, and should split their time evenly between the dance floor and the balcony. It’s a perfect analogy and something leaders should think about when examining and evaluating their organization.
Your view impacts what you see every day, so as a leader you have to be aware of your viewpoint. We spend a lot of time on the dance floor, especially as basketball coaches. The majority of our time is in practice, on the same level as our players. That is the view we are used to. Yet it’s not one that allows us to see everything.
In the simplest of terms, you can’t see everything at practice. If you are focused on block outs and the defensive glass, it’s hard to see who is getting back in transition. If you are locked in on your offensive execution, you don’t see the defensive rotations the same way.
The same thing can happen with personalities. I’ve often made the mistake often of spending so much time thinking about and talking to the guys on our team who are struggling, that I overlook the guys who are doing the right thing and thriving. I don’t step back and look at the big picture – evaluate the entire team, and think about what each player needs. I get caught up on the dance floor – these guys are struggling, they need my attention – and I lose sight of the bigger picture.
Getting up to the balcony isn’t always easy as a head coach, or as the defined leader of the organization. You want to be in the weeds. You want to know the pulse of the team, and you want to be the one out there directing traffic. But understand you’ll get a different perspective – and an important one – removing yourself from the action and taking a look through a wider lens. Find ways to change your perspective. On the dance floor you can’t possibly see everything that is going on. On the balcony, you may not see something as specific but you are less likely to miss something.
If you are lucky enough to have a staff, task them at keeping you focused on different perspectives. Ask about the big picture, and talk about things you may not be seeing day to day. What are you missing? What should you be doing differently? Allow your assistants to take control of the team one day, so you can take a step back and observe from a different vantage point.If you can, bring in someone from the outside to take a look at your team. Get their perspective. Change your view.
It sounds simple, but it’s worth thinking about. So much of what you see is based on the vantage point you are looking from. You can get so caught up in the day to day with your team, that you miss some very important big picture stuff. Think about the dance floor and what you might be missing. Spend some more time on the balcony.