When working with leadership teams, organisations or assisting with projects I see a lot of spectators sitting in the grandstand.

This includes the following examples:

  • people not participating in meetings;
  • people critiquing others who make decisions but make a mistake in its execution;
  • decisions being made to keep others happy or to benefit themselves rather than doing what is right but never easy;
  • a holding back on providing an opinion or challenging a leader because they may not like what the person has to say;
  • letting others have a crack and coming in with thoughts and opinions after the event;
  • a lack of courage by individuals to put themselves out there due to a fear of making a mistake; and
  • people not getting involved in change programs or initiatives hard but necessary for their organisation to continue to adapt and improve.


Sitting in the grandstand and watching things happen is the easy option.  It keeps us safe, away from harm’s way and doesn’t challenge us.  It may work in the short term but it is not a long term sustainable solution.  It is driven by a sense of fear, apprehension or worse a sense of apathy that it is not worth it to contribute.  This is very sad on all levels particularly when you take in to account that a lot of interaction that people have is online rather than face to face.

The problem with this approach is that we are putting off the inevitable in that the only way to grow is to be in the game.  This means challenging ourselves, giving an opinion, feeling comfortable in making mistakes, supporting rather than critiquing others and actively participating in the solution.  It is definitely more challenging but far more rewarding in assisting us to learn, improve and challenge ourselves daily.

Jump out of the grandstand and in to the game.  Get involved, get active and provide an opinion or a contribution to your team, organisation or project.   It may lead to some challenges and failures but the upside is you are in the game!