If you play an instrument, dance or play a sport you’ll understand the importance of rehearsal and practice. The essence of producing the required performance at the time that matters is based on preparation and investment.
Yet how often do you spend rehearsing your performance as a leader? It is a curious peculiarity of leadership and management that are we expected to be always on and yet always perform.
Imagine a football player only ever having game time, or a musician always being on stage. Common sense and experience tells us that in these circumstances they’re unlikely to improve the quality of their delivery. Sure they might have natural talent or ability, but what is the likelihood they’d progress?
Even those at the top of their games spend time to practice, analyse and focus on improvement. Daily.
The natural rhythm of business life is counterproductive to the concept of leadership rehearsal. We move from one meeting to the next, from one decision to another. Rarely stopping to pause or reflect. And even at the end of the day, the structure of modern life is such that the emails, the papers and presentations continue.
The lucky few might find have a coach that they can spend time with and create a space for important focus and reflection, but what about the rest of us, what can we do?
Rehearsal is a mindset, it is about wanting to improve, deliver and perform. It is about being curious about the elements of your personal leadership performance that could or should be done better. What do you want to improve?
Rehearsal is about buying yourself time. It is about identifying the important moments in your day or week and ensuring that you’re prepared – not just intellectually, but behaviourally and emotionally. How do you want to be?
Rehearsal is about analysis. It is about reviewing and reflecting and seeking to understand the elements that went well and not so well. How did you do?
Rehearsal is about learning. It is about seeking out different sources of information, watching others, reading, seeking out inspiration and provocation. What could you learn?
The secret of performing, isn’t much of a secret – it is simply about practice and rehearsal. That applies to leadership as much as anything else. When is your leadership rehearsal?