Leadership as a Performing Art

Great leaders understand the value of effective performance: It can communicate authenticity and spark excitement. In January, Philadelphia Company of Friends members gathered at the Private Chef Kitchen in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to explore the craft. The speaker: Constance Goodwin, president of Goodwin Associates, a consultancy specializing in "leadership by design." Here's her short course on the "Executive Performing Artist."

Professional Experience
Have you ever noticed the buzz when you leave a theater after a play? The experience engages people. When we look at what we do in business as a performance, another world is at our fingertips. Artists juxtapose things to create possibilities. They shake things up.

Equation for Excellence
There's also a performing art in the body. Actors consciously lead with their bodies to connect with audiences. That is the first step in being an executive performing artist. The formula includes five parts: communication, connection, attendance, authenticity, and authority.

The Four Dimensions
There are four dimensions of performance: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and spatial. Artists use them to manipulate your attention. Think about stage direction for yourself. Have you ever considered how you move through space? What is your spatial awareness? What kind of theater are you creating? You're only as good as your last performance.

For more information about the Company of Friends, visit the Web (www.fastcompany.com/cof). For CoF event and activity listings, check out the online calendar (www.fast company.com/keyword/cofcalendar).