More Lights More Action

Leadership Lessons from Fame

I have just been to see the stage show “Fame” celebrating Fame 1988. A pop culture phenomenon, Fame means just as much today as it did back in the 80’s. It presents the perfect platform to deliver a story to a diverse audience. In the face of trials, tribulations and self-discovery, Fame deals with issues young people face today of prejudice, body issues, gender fluidity, mental health, low aspirations, literacy, substance abuse, identity and race. A loud call sounds to engage with the story, move towards aspirational pivots, be entertained, be challenge, be moved, inspired and motivated.

Inside the real life ‘fame school’ , the kids were outcasts from tougher New York schools and found a safe haven there.   In the face and space of extremely tough competition, aspiring dancers channelled their energies into achieving their dreams – giving everything they had and indeed, some found real fame.

Developing their skills behind closed doors, learning acting techniques, having access to different tools; young people increased their confidence, amplified their voice and embraced the chance to perform within a strict training regime. Discipline and focus helped them to thrive in whatever style of dance they were passionate about. Lights, design and stage craft brought design concepts to life, equipping people to learn, analyse dramatic ideas and moods and interpret concepts, creating the shift from the page to the stage.

There are parallels for leaders in any walk of life.    One is a need to provide context, increase situational awareness and demonstrate understanding, offering challenge, support and guidance. Most people struggle to ask for help or to own up to failures.   Powerfully, we learn that discipline without love can cause more harm than good. Leaders need to be better at balancing tough activity with kindness, care and generosity of spirit. Structure, processes, techniques, execution, discipline, and focus help the aspiring leader to achieve ‘the dream’. Our vision of what is possible, creates pivots for us all. We create the conditions for success and continually learn as much as we can in the face of failure and continuous disruption. The call to action is not to give up but to look forward and be energised by a vision of what is possible.