Last night, Kelly and I took our first tango class. While I learned something about dance, it also got me thinking about how life needs good followers.
This first class focused a tiny bit on footwork, a little on balance and a lot on leading/following in the dance routine.
In our society, we focus a lot on leading and the importance of a strong leader. But in last night’s class, the teacher focused equally on being an effective leader and on being an effective follower.
We are all required to both lead and follow in life. But without effective followers, how could there be effective leaders?
It seems tango may have something to say about life as a whole. An effective follower in tango must:
- Give the leader enough resistance to be able to feel where the leader is going next
- Be (physically) flexible throughout the dance
- Trust the leader that they’re not going to run you into everything
- Be in sync with the leader so you don’t step on toes (literally)
I could apply these to business, to academia, to any relationship really. Whether we have a preference or not, sometimes we lead and others we follow. Have you thought about how effective you are at following?
And some day, Kelly and I will dance like this: