A couple of weeks ago, I took off time to spend time with my children during the school holidays.    I love taking them out to experience events, activities and things they love.  It is something I did not do well in the past but really value doing it as I get a little wiser around what’s important in my life.

They love the circus as do I.  The circus was in town so we trotted off to the 3pm show.   The animals, the thrill of the events, the humour and also watching people love what they do putting on a show is terrific.  A great couple of hours of entertainment!


Watching the circus, what struck me was that the people taking our tickets where also the performers.  Not only that, the children of the families that where performing where also actively involved in setting up, looking after the animals and learning all they could about the trade.   Truly everyone comes together to work as one team.   United by a common purpose which is to put on a terrific show for their customers.  No obstacles were going to prevent the show from going on.

When working as one team, the main thing that struck me was how prepared children as young as two were willing to have a crack at things.  Whether that was feeding the lions to guiding the pony rides right at the intermission break through to the trapeze shows.  Nothing was off limits for the kids to learn from their parents and other family members.  Not only was this observed but stated by the ringmaster just how important it was for the kids to be in the ring to learn the tricks and techniques that would make them successful in executing their acts in the future.

A particular case in point was the trapeze show that the circus put on.  Both the parents and children were involved in some very dangerous flips, balancing acts and gymnastics.   In one particular part of the show, a young girl no older than ten was launched from a swing on the shoulders of another performer who stood on another!  A challenging act in any event.  Three times this young girl tried to do this in front of a large crowd not executing it perfectly.  Feedback was given by more experienced performers along with a reassuring word between attempts when she could not execute.  This young girl did not shy away from the challenge and personally requested the additional two attempts.  An absolute focus on having a crack, running to her fear and not being put off by being knocked down previously.

This was a very powerful message for me and I believe it applies to organisations and projects.  I think we mollycoddle people too much.  We make excuses why they don’t try things or not push harder to challenge people to go outside of their comfort zone.   Instead of understanding that with real rewards comes risks, failure and falls, we tend to not to all go there because someone is fearful.   We tend to provide reasons why we can’t do this rather than understanding this is a necessary part of the journey towards success.

Well done to the circus.  Some real insights to what you need to do to put on a great show.  This not only applies to their acts but yours and mine as we continue to push ourselves to be better every day and to understand that being knocked down is not a bad thing.  It is the only path to truly nailing what you want to achieve in life.