Understanding the Multigenerational Workforce

21st Century organizations have a responsibility to retain workers from the most diverse population of all time. Five generations conduct business in all industries while new commerce emerges through online venues each day. The vocabulary for each generation includes communication challenges for organizations to overcome. The World War II generation, Baby Boom generation, Generation X, and Millennial generation, and Generation Z can share unique attitudes, expectations, values, and motivations, but they must be uncovered through communication.  Organizations can increase productive communication by applying successful models for change. Unfreezing, gaining support from top leaders, and diffusing innovation will unlock these techniques.

Unfreezing for Change

“Kurt Lewin was the first to develop the notion that change should be planned rather than allowing unintentional or accidental processes to occur, and he first described three levels of change: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing” (Stichler, 2011, p. 9). Because the vocabulary for each generation in the workplace includes communication challenges for organizations to overcome, Lewin’s model for change can help.  The model increases communication by compelling change, institutionalizing the change, and then anchoring it for the future. It is simplistic with three stages; however, the institutionalizing process can be lengthy, and this method will continue a hierarchical form of leadership.

Over the course of time, this model for change has been criticized by scholars for over-simplifying the change process (Cummings, Bridgman, & Brown, 2016). Generation X and Generation Z, who are savvy in recognizing the need for change due to being sandwiched between the large generation groups of Baby Boomers and Millennials, may be attracted to the simplicity of Lewin’s model.  Research indicates that “Generation X will be responsible for leading the way toward solutions in this generational shift moment” (Ai-jen Poo. 2017). Lewin’s attempt at documenting a process for creating cultural change in the workplace uses the motto of, “Keep it simple”.  Generation X is self-reliant and results-oriented because seminal news in their formative years include viewing the Challenger disaster and the Berlin Wall coming down.  Generation X and Generation Z are ready for changes. They are optimistic and straightforward.

Planning cultural changes allows an organization to consider pitfalls and interpersonal needs.  However, it requires a leader to bear the mental load of responsibility and courageously have the final say.  The vocabulary for Generation X in the workplace includes communication challenges for organizations to overcome and unfreezing, changing, and refreezing can help. While Lewin’s model increases communication by compelling the changes, institutionalizing the changes, and then anchoring the changes for the future, it leaves out a sense of collaboration and on-boarding.  On-boarding is necessary for the Baby Boom generation, and the Millennial generation to overcome communication challenges.  The hierarchical form of leadership implemented in this method would need to include employees joining the process.

Top Leaders for Change

            Organizational culture is ingrained over time.  Top leaders network with employees through compatibility, skill-sets, and passion for a mission.  When additional culture changes need to shift John Kotter’s model for change broadens Kurt Lewin’s model with additional stages of the process (Appelbaum, Habashy, Malo, & Shafiq, 2012).  Broaden from three to eight steps to affect change, Kotter offers additional tools for overcoming communication challenges with multiple generations inside the organization.  This method appeals to more people because it is inclusive.  The final stage of Kotter’s model is the anchoring, and it requires top leadership to underpin the change through policy.

kotters-8-steps-for-leading-change-1-638Successful models of change have common elements of commitment, necessity, the strategy of inclusion, and understanding that the changes will take many years. Kotter’s model for change may be attractive to the World War II generation and the Millennial generation because it implores people to remain civically aware and sacrificial while enduring the stages of change. Kotter’s eight stages reveal the hardships of tasks like, removing barriers and enlisting volunteers.  Leaders must work to generate short-term wins. These wins can bridge the cohesiveness of compatible values, like family and social concerns that are at the forefront of the World War II generation and the Millennial generation.  Kotter’s change is popular, but because of its duration and lack of scientific data, there is not a consensus on the results of its effectiveness (Appelbaum, Habashy, Malo, & Shafiq, 2012).  The top leaders of the organization must be devoted to the long-term process of this model.

Companies, businesses, and organizations form because there are needs and a group of compatible people working to meet those needs.  Cultural habits in the business may be authentic, but those that encumber the work require change.  John Kotter’s model of eight steps toward change will help devoted leaders. This long journey will reveal and empower multiple generations inside the organization. The vocabulary for the World War II generation and the Millennial generation includes communication challenges that organizations to overcome by learning Kotter’s model. This method appeals to many people because it is comprehensive.  However, the final stage is essential.  It requires the top leadership to fortify the change through policy and example.

Diffusion for Change

Motivation is vital to accomplishing change inside a multigenerational workforce. The largest group of the population is the Baby Boomer generation.  Organizations that lack the power of this large group of people will struggle to accomplish their mission. While they are known for their achievements, and their work ethic being linked to the people, places, and things they trust, they must also see the authentic implementation of values. Baby Boomers working alongside the other generations can be demanding.  Their communication challenges can be explored and harnessed through applying Everett Rogers theory of Diffusion of Innovation.  Everett Rogers identifies a process for predicting the ways that innovation becomes mainstream.  Diffusion of innovation looks at the predictable ways in which accepted revolution finds its way into mainstream acceptance (Guder, 2009). Leaders can unlock good communication by exploring this model.

According to Stichler (2011), “Leveraging the enthusiasm and wisdom of innovators and early adopters as change champions, the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of those most resistant to change (the late majority and laggards) can be managed” (Stichler, 2011, p. 10).  The Baby Boomer generation was the first to have birth control, telecommunications, and multicultural employees in the workplace.  Rogers (2003), explains “the five characteristics of innovation are relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability” (p. 15).  The Baby Boomer generation wields extraordinary influence on the workplace for another decade or longer. Leaders must understand what it takes for the employed Baby Boomers to adopt a change, then they will understand how to implement them.FT_18.02.15_GenerationsBirths_projected

Retaining motivated Baby Boomers is vital to accomplishing change inside a multigenerational workforce. The largest group of the population is the Baby Boomer generation.  Numbering 72 million people, (Fry, 2018), the group is beneficial to accomplishing success. Baby Boomers care about the people, places, and things they trust, so it is essential to understand the values and drive for them. Baby Boomers are demanding and have the significant life experience to validate their opinions.  The vocabulary Baby Boomers use may create communication challenges, but they can be overcome through applying Everett Rogers theory of Diffusion of Innovation. His process for predicting the ways that innovation becomes mainstream will reveal the values that can be shared in the multigenerational workplace.  Diffusion of innovation studies can help business leaders identify what will help people accept changes in their organization. Leaders can unlock good communication by understanding this model.


Current organizations have a responsibility to recognize the wisdom in their personnel team from the diverse generations of the population. Generation Z, the next generation, has started entering the workforce in 2017.  Business, industry, and commerce are speeding up through user-friendly online businesses. The terminology and values for each generation mean recognizing the past and updating learning to adapt for business survival. The World War II generation, Baby Boom generation, Generation X, Millennial, and Generation Z can share attitudes, expectations, values, and motivations.  Organizations can increase productive communication by applying successful models for change. Using the techniques of Lewin, Kotter, and Rogers to understand unfreezing, gaining support from top leaders, and diffusing innovation will unlock good communication techniques.


Ai-jen Poo. (2017). Generation X: Being the Change We Need. Generations4(3), 90–92.

Appelbaum, S. H., Habashy, S., Malo, J.-L., & Shafiq, H. (2012). Back to the future: revisiting Kotter’s 1996

change model. Journal of Management Development31(8), 764–782.

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt

Lewin’s legacy for change management. Human Relations69(1), 33–60.

Fry, R. (2018, March 01). Millennials expected to outnumber Boomers in 2019. Retrieved from


Guder, C. (2009). Second Life as Innovation. Public Services Quarterly5(4), 282–288.

Kotter, J. P.  Kotter’s 8 steps for leading change [Chart].

Retrieved from: https://www.slideshare.net/TRACCiiS/kotters-8-steps-for-leading-change

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

Stichler, J. F. (2011). Adapting to Change. Health Environments Research & Design Journal (HERD)

 (Vendome Group LLC)4(4), 8–11.


Resonant Leadership

The career field of dance offers young men and women the opportunity to advance to professional contracts by the age of sixteen. For a dancer to accomplish this goal and have a fulfilling career he must be trained to be focused. The lifespan of his career includes being a catalyst for change, applying the excellence of his formal training beyond the stage, and strategizing to help the art form advance beyond himself.  On this journey, he will have to apply the stamina he learned in dance class. A dancer who is resonant in their career has been flexible, learned the art of relationships, and was conscious about planting seeds for the future.

7Catalyst for Change

Pre-professional dance studies begin between the ages of six and eight.  A young dancer learns he must be fifteen to twenty minutes early to be on time and his uniform and hygiene must be pristine for the instructor to accept him into class.  The beginning of the young dancer’s career includes being a catalyst for change and his preparedness will help him be flexible when encountering adversity. Dancers who begin their career with rigid expectations will face resistance and may produce environments that cultivate a fear of confrontation. By working to grasp concepts quickly and placing them into an analytical network of associations he can adjust for organizational needs. He must use his charisma and flexibility together for resonant leadership.

Embracing change is a munificent theme.  The research of Barton and Collura (2003) indicates all a student’s needs can be accessed through laptop computers. A young dancer entering the professional workplace may not have the same ideals.  His value-driven approach is to attain excellence in all areas and may leave co-workers feeling judged.  His nimbleness, adaptability, and ability to adjust on the fly is an asset according to Denning (2008). Young dancers in the workplace often create a revolution of change. “Continuing the management practices and structures of the lumbering industrial giants of the 20th Century is no longer a viable option for today’s firms” (Denning, 2008, p.3).  The young contracted dancer’s childlike optimism has more opportunity to be helpful now than in years past.

The brilliance of an uncomplicated hard worker may be considered a threat or an asset by others.  His dedication to professionalism and detail will turn heads of leaders and co-workers. Because the start of the young dancer’s career includes being a catalyst for change, his preparedness can help him be flexible when encountering workplace hardships. His rigid expectations must be stretched to avoid an environment that promotes fear of confrontation. Adjusting persona to identify with organizational prototypicality will help his appeal to co-workers and employers.  Resonance is created by the dancer who uses optimistic flexibility.

Excellence in Relationships

The dancer’s discontinuity of understanding consequences by entering the workforce at a young age will lead him to consider personal changes. His ability for physical self-control begins to balance his ability to practice optimism instead of critique and criticism. The dancer begins applying the excellence of his formal dance training beyond the stage and into the art of relationships. The interpersonal discoveries of working together with a team help him to be skilled at collaboration.  Learning about emotional intelligence helps him pay attention to leaders’ and coworkers’ feelings and behaviors. When the enthusiastic dancer commits himself to excellence in applying emotional intelligence in his relationships the result is resonant leadership.

The appreciation for beauty and excellence have positive associations with prosociality and well-being (Martínez-Martí, Hernández-Lloreda, & Avia, 2016).  Young dancers can view themselves as autonomous because they learn command of their personal space.  A dancer working in a professional company must surrender his weight-bearing trust to his colleagues and begin to understand he not only lifts others but there will be times when they bear his weight with gracefulness. The Bible asks each person to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). His long-term reputation and integrity are revealed in his ability to apply this scripture with the same interpersonal excellence as his trade.

Original disjointedness will eventually break way to personal change and commitment. The dancer’s capacity for internal and external sanguinity surpasses the desire for critical analysis of others. He begins applying the excellence of his formal dance training into the art of relational affairs. The social discoveries of collaboration raise the standard for new ground rules that demonstrate respect for others.  Emotional standards and boundaries are recognizable to him as he develops. When the passionate dancer commits himself to excellence in relationships resonance will occur.

Strategy for Mentoring

The organizational reality of a dancer’s career is most often spread thin between sub-contracted engagements. Identifying the important elements of an evolving art form requires discovering the truth about the dancer’s connection to the audience. The lifespan of his career includes strategizing to help the art form advance beyond himself by planting seeds for the future. The visionary component must develop for the dancer to put systems into place that support his successful habits and ways of mentoring an audience and student body.  The planted seed will grow a career with resonance.

The international stage for dance remains small and intimately connected. The dancer’s trajectory is to detect the compatible technical schools of dance and deliver his gained artistry to young students. Behar-Horenstein and Prikhidko (2017) support that atmospheres of collaboration encourage the capacity for technical thinking. The emotional climate of the school must also be compatible on a visceral level to the artist and audience.  If the school is compatible with the artist only his seeds will only produce a technical success in young dancers.  When the school is compatible with the artist and the audience he will tap into the collective hope that the artform releases beauty and grace with forward momentum.

The logistics of a dancer’s profession is managing business networks. His contribution to an evolving art form necessitates determining the genuine product beyond the passionate choreography.  Articulating the connection of the performance to the audience is vital. The acceptance of his occupation includes strategizing to help the art form advance beyond himself by planting seeds for the future. The quixotic component must develop for the dancer to put structures into place that help identify and mentor key individuals with trade secrets.  The values of the audience and student body help classify the critical artistic components that will help him nurture resonance in leading others to make beautiful and grace-filled choreography.

Strategy for Mentoring

The job of a professional dancer opens to young men and women earlier than most careers. For the dancer to have a rewarding career he must cultivate intense concentration. The lifespan of his career includes being a catalyst for change, applying the excellence of his formal training beyond the stage, and strategizing to help the art form advance beyond himself.  His stamina must be sustainable. A dancer who is resonant in his career has been flexible, learned the art of relationships, and was conscious about planting seeds for the future.






Barton, C., & Collura, K. (2003). Catalyst for change. T.H.E. Journal31(4), 39-41.

Behar-Horenstein, L. S., & Prikhidko, A. (2017). Exploring mentoring in the context of team science. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership In Learning25(4), 430-454.

Denning, S. (2018). Succeeding in an increasingly agile world. Strategy & Leadership46(3), 3.

Martínez-Martí, M., Hernández-Lloreda, M., & Avia, M. (2016). Appreciation of beauty and excellence: Relationship with personality, prosociality and well-being. Journal Of Happiness Studies17(6), 2613-2634.

Avoiding Performance Anxiety through the Development of Self Confidence

1A performing artist learns skills that help her internalize her experiences so that she can complete the duties of her job. Over time this process can cause a chasm of internal thoughts between her true self and the characters she is required to play. The chasm is a fertile area for performance anxiety to grow. Avoiding performance anxiety requires quiet times for visualizing reflection, and planning to produce self-confidence. A performing artist who develops self-confidence with philanthropists, colleagues, and clients will have joyful and fulfilling experiences. Developing her self-confidence helps her overcome setbacks and frustrations when external motivators cannot. Avoiding performance anxiety will help her balance critical thought and naivety.

2Visualizing with Philanthropists

Creativity is attractive to audiences.  Performing artists spend significant rehearsal time to perfect their ability to regulate the value and effort of movements. Vocalists create control and articulation of range in the same way writers construct voices.  Musicians practice subtle dexterity in the same way dancers utilize infinite combinations of movement and actors order a spectrum of responses. The time consumption for producing captivating works is impossible without devoted philanthropists who believe the world needs the joy of the arts.  Performing artists must reserve quiet times of visualization to persist as a self-confident asset to the philanthropist and avoid performance anxiety.  Visualizing the future aids her in creating a common lexicon with the philanthropist.  It also prepares her to talk intelligibly about the precise costs involved in bringing the conceived work to life.  She will feel self-confident about theme development and budget when she’s prepared through a time of quiet visualization before meeting with the philanthropist.

The arts are a powerful tool for influencing people. They wield power. According to Connor and Wagner (1998), writers may engage in ideal genre agreements, but they may also decide to modify the genre for their purposes. Artists must take time to consider representing their values through art.  Will there be an amount of special identity created on behalf of the funder? An imbalance between the true values of the performing artist and the character created for the special identity of the philanthropist will generate space for performance anxiety to breed.

People are captivated by the creativity and ability of the performing artist. Careful consideration should be taken to consider the purposes for which she wants to wield her accomplished skills.  The amount of time it took to create the ability to dance, sing, write, or act is priceless. It is nearly unbearable for her, as an artist, to produce works without enthusiastic philanthropists who desire that the world would experience the arts.  When she commits to quiet times of visualization, she will be a self-confident asset to funders and avoid performance anxiety.  The funder and artist will understand the sources of compatibility between each other she will speak with assurance about the of production.

3Planning with Colleagues

Co-workers have a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of their team members.  A performing artist is often sub-contracted and paid specifically for the time she is depositing her art form in the contracted entity.  She can become void of meaningful relationships. Avoiding performance anxiety requires quiet times of reflection alone and with others to produce self-confidence. She can develop self-confidence with colleagues to have joyful and fulfilling experiences.  Creating time for thinking and communicating before and after performances is essential to her performance.

Emotional intelligence helps the performing artist become attuned to her inner signals. While she may understand the dynamic crescendos she performs in music, theatre, or dance she does not always know how to cope with interpersonal dynamics around her.  Emotional intelligence is a predictor of intercultural communication apprehension among people (Fall, Kelly, MacDonald, Primm, & Holmes, 2013). There is also a value placed on more emotionally intelligent workforces (Mattingly & Kraiger, 2018). When the performing artist creates margin in her schedule for co-worker interaction, she will experience more personal competence and social competence.  Living connections make opportunities for reflection and learning.  Reflection teaches the mind to develop competency and accomplish emotional intelligence.

When a performing artist delivers her expertise, she can create a gap in meaningful relationships.  Reflecting with co-workers and friends is vital for her. She can avoid anxiety by having quiet times of reflection alone and with colleagues to produce self-confidence. Self-confidence with contemporaries makes jubilant and rewarding experiences for her.  Setting aside time to contemplate before and after performances will help her have a healthy and productive career.

4Self Confidence with Clients

Including clients in the creative process is a tool for the performing artist to use as she selects thematic concentrations. Rapport with audience members and students allow her to muse and heighten her art’s relevance.  A final instrument for her to avoid performance anxiety necessitates quiet times of planning to produce self-confidence. By developing her self-confidence for interacting with her patrons she can see the touch of the artwork.  Patrons can display a variety of responses.  They can become loyal supporters, zealous fans, and everything in between.  She must have the self-confidence to guide the fan towards the zest for the artform, passion for the content, or purpose of the creation.  Guidance happens through cognizant planning. Planning is a requirement for keeping her fan’s zeal in its place. Without confidence, she is open to the breach that creates space for anxiety to grow.

Arts patrons, clients, and fans are a broad base of people who enjoy her creative works as a performing artist. The insight and power of the audience can be valuable for her strategic planning. In the TLC program titled Toddlers and Tiaras, the network carried international scrutiny to the child pageant industry (Wolf, 2002). The audience communicated back to the network the possible long-term effects of child exploitation and domestic violence in pageant practices (Wolf, 2002).  This controversial subject-matter was beneficial to the producers of the entertaining television show for increasing viewers.  It also created awareness about a culture that derives enjoyment from the closed competitive performance circuit. Writers, producers, and actors have multi-layered purposes for their work. By remaining competitive and relevant to arts patrons her art form can thrive.

Audience members are the backbone of her career success as an artist. Including their likes and dislikes in her development process is worth-while.  The affinity between patrons, students, and fans allow her to cogitate the relevance of her work.  She is, however, disposed to the breach that creates space for anxiety to grow. To avoid performance anxiety, she requires quiet times of planning to produce self-confidence. Her development of self-confidence for interacting with consumers allows her to enjoy the effects of her artwork.  Loyal and zealous audience members can inspire her next move.  With self-confidence, she can inspire the fan to see aspects of the artistic process previously unexperienced.


The personal sacrifice of a performing artist helps her set aside her own experiences to provide a specific experience for her audience members. Depersonalization may occur momentarily for the duties of the job, but over time the process can create an internal conflict between her true self and the characters she is required to perform. This breached area is the space where performance anxiety grows. Avoiding performance anxiety requires quiet times for visualizing reflection, and planning to produce self-confidence. She must develop self-confidence with philanthropists, colleagues, and clients have joyful and fulfilling experiences. The development of self-confidence will help her persevere through trials and defeats better than external stimuli. Avoiding performance anxiety will also help her balance critical thought and naivety. Self-confidence is essential for her to have a healthy career in the performing arts.6






Connor, U., & Wagner, L. (1998). Language use in grant proposals by nonprofits: Spanish

and English. New Directions For Philanthropic Fundraising1998(22), 59-74.

Fall, L. T., Kelly, S., MacDonald, P., Primm, C., & Holmes, W. (2013). Intercultural

communication apprehension and emotional intelligence in higher education:

Preparing business students for career success. Business Communication

Quarterly76(4), 412-426.

Mattingly, V., & Kraiger, K. (2018). Can emotional intelligence be trained? A meta-

analytical investigation. Human Resource Management Review,

Wolfe, L. (2012). Darling divas or damaged daughters? The dark side of child beauty

pageants and an administrative law solution. Tulane Law Review87(2), 427-455.



Inspired: Bill T. Jones

The dance portion of the performing arts profession has been heavy laden in royal decorum. These imperial traditions for conduct are fabulous for cultivating professionalism and an esthetic of formal manners as we watch society indulging in instantaneous casualness. However, the dance industry also cultivated a culture of coercion, unfair wages, and uncaring organizations. A leader who introduced and remains a provider of inspiration, fair compensation, and an attentive organization is Bill T. Jones. This American choreographer is the co-founder of a progressive performance company who challenged ethical emerging issues through dance productions and the Artistic Director of New York Live Arts. Jones’ artistic direction has influenced the dance industry to explore social, ethical, and spiritual issues and began an industry-wide change in the treatment of performers.

According to Paris (2005) “Jones invokes a Janus-like figure, challenging himself to please stand up, fighting over which “Bill T.” will prevail, and playing out this conflict in his choreography as well as in his public statements” (p. 64). By using transparency Jones’ dance performance pieces expose the internal conflict of grappling with social, ethical, and spiritual formation to public scrutiny. The process of preparing performers to debut a piece of performance art includes hours of deep thinking, acting, and dancing. “Jones’s process, a spiritual endeavor as well as a rigorous investigation of material culture, situates the physical body at the locus of discursive sociopolitical and artistic intrigue” (Jones & Dent, 2005, p. 23). The expectations Jones has of his dancers are extraordinarily high.   He asks for lengthy and physically taxing rehearsals that cross into spiritual and philosophical explorations. Performers and artists gravitate towards Jones because he does this with respectful and ethical leadership.

Jones contribution to the dance performance arts profession over the last 45 years has introduced a deep commitment to the performer that was not present in the hierarchy of ballet performance. The industry’s paradigm shift to appreciate both classical and postmodern performance art has taken nearly 90 years.  Because his dance company and the New York Arts Live environment is not cynical or oppressive, dancers flock to his auditions and program opportunities. Jones regularly has 450 women and 125 men to audition when looking for just a few performers. He addresses dancers’ feelings of inadequacy during rehearsals, offers full-time employment, and makes artwork about relevant issues.  By exemplifying fairness, putting the dancers’ needs in front of his desire to make the art, and living out the virtuous choice in the treatment of others his organizations displays an ethic of care previously undetected in the industry.



Jones, B. T., & Dent, M. (2005). T: Tracing the language of Bill T. Jones. TDR: The Drama Review49(2), 14-23.

Paris, C. (2005). Will the real Bill T. Jones please stand up?. TDR: The Drama Review49(2), 64-74.

Balancing Attributes for Developing Leadership in the Arts

Kimberly Payne

Malone University

Balancing Attributes for Developing Leadership in Arts

The role of the leader in an arts organization is to balance the operations, reputation, and strategic success of the company. This requires specific leadership attributes that bond captivating artistry with professional ethics. Developing the leadership attributes of charisma, empathy, and Many artists and their organizations face peaks and valleys in status. When the terrain is multidimensional and operational activities challenging, these attributes will equip leaders with influence, crisis intervention, and sustention.

Charisma to Gain Influence

The personal allure of artists and their work is important to the success of an arts organization. It ignites a vision that attracts funders, sells tickets, and creates audience loyalty. Leaders must develop the attribute of charisma to gain influence in executing and maintaining the organizational vision. Affecting follower emotional and cognitive responses is a tool of charismatic artists.  Leaders also require the ability to arouse behavioral changes in others through artistic appeal. Maintaining operational details and integrity of vision implementation will be efficacious with this attribute and its properties.

According to Nisbett and Walmsley (2016), “charismatic leaders are seen as extraordinary individuals and are excessively romanticized by arts managers, policymakers, and audiences” (p. 2).  Leaders who have developed the character attribute of charisma will have a balanced perception of those with a natural inclination.  This is important because persons with natural charisma can be viewed as loose cannons within an organization (Borek, Lovett, & Towns, 2005). In the context of organizational vision, leadership can apply generative techniques without placating the ability of the artists’ evangelistic nature.

Funding, ticket sales, and follower loyalty are critical to all arts organizations.  Each artist with individual appeal brings attention and continuity to the business. Leaders advancing their understanding of charisma can influence followers with the organizational vision.  This encourages the audience to allow emotional and cognitive investment in the arts.  Stimulating art spectators to become dreamers for a brighter future is the primary reason artists and arts leaders devote themselves to the arts; therefore, expertise in regulating charisma and advancing vision implementation is vital for success.

Empathy During Crisis

The attribute of empathy proves to be significant for arts leaders. This is because the pulse of an arts organization represents the heartbeat of its artistic team, the management, and the public.  Artists thrive when creating art based in prophetic insight to global and regional emerging issues.  Leaders who develop the ability to empathize with artists and audiences bring balance to the organization by intervening during times of crisis. Because the leader and artists are interdependent, they must rely on each other to understand the stories of pain and traumas expressed through the arts. Developing the relatable attribute of empathy allows leaders to support their team in affecting public opinion.

Lygia Clark created an art installation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1963.  By offering interactive art and craft opportunity to the public, she sought to heighten the awareness of the interdependency the public has with the earth’s resources. “Clark’s Caminhando/Walking (1963) consists of a Möbius strip, a strip of paper that is twisted and fixed in a loop, that the viewer is invited to cut, starting by making a hole in the middle of the strip and continuing in consecutive circles around the loop until the remaining sliver of paper is so narrow that it is cut through, resulting in the end of the action and the death of the piece” (Gauld, 2014, p. 396). Gauld’s research offers that it is a recent discovery for leaders to understanding the role empathy plays in reframing and approaching critical issues (Gauld, 2014). This artistic expression is meant to create empathy regarding ecological crisis and exploitation of human and natural resources. Similar to the revelations of Winston Churchill calling attention to the oncoming crisis of the Cold War the public could not yet see, artists’ revelations often fall out of vogue (Borek, Lovett, & Towns, 2005). These futuristic stories of oncoming trauma expressed through art can be a valuable insight into crisis intervention when respected and appropriately highlighted.

An arts leader’s sensitivity to the overall view of crisis can use the attribute of empathy to inspire hope and fortitude to all followers: team, management, and audience.   This fine-tunes audiences to remain invested, realize their power, and to take part in forming creative solutions. Because emerging issues have a way of overwhelming the public and causing momentary paralysis, leaders who can empathize with creative people and the public bring opportunities for composed crisis intervention. Interdependent and generative curation helps artists reveal prophetic knowledge.  Empathetic support is deeply desired by artists and will cultivate an environment thriving, thus creating an underpinning of confidence in a strong organization.

Hope Leads to Sustention

Many arts organizations place the burden of fund-raising, personnel management, and daily operations on one or two primary arts leaders.  It is important for the arts leader to stay focused and nurture his personal and spiritual core. The attribute of hope leads to personal and organizational equipoise in the arts because it creates sustention. Hope is developed when leaders refuse to minimize the importance of their inner life. Retaining and leaning upon spiritual fundamentals allow leaders to press beyond resistance.  A prerequisite for arts leadership is developing faith that cultivates long-term hope.

Ezra, a Biblical prophet, recognized God was the provider of all he needed, even when the resource seemed to come from other sources (Borek, Lovett, & Towns, 2005). By believing that there was more than meets the eye, Ezra practiced faith-based principles that filled him with hope and prepared him to face large challenges. He was ready to face the opposition of others as he continued to pursue his calling from God (Ezra 4, New International Version). Recent research from Greffe, Krebs, and Pflieger, (2017) indicates that “the vast majority of public funded museums are suffering severe and continuous declining resources” (p. 319). Now, more than ever, arts leaders need to present the resolution of hope within their organizations. It must become unimaginable for arts leaders to lose hope. The arts are birthed from the hope of building a better future and preserving history.

Because the pressure of working with limited funding and personnel resources is prevalent for arts leaders, remaining focused and healthy in mind, body, and spirit is a high priority. The attribute of hope leads to individual and organizational balance in the arts because it helps the maintenance of life. The inner spiritual essentials of Godly love, peace, and joy allow leaders to persevere when difficulties arise.  Faith fosters long-term hope in the life of all leaders, includes those serving in the arts.


The current business trend is that the duties of the arts leader will continue to expand within the arts organization.  Fulfilling the role of supervising operations, reputation, and the strategic success of the company will require precise leadership attributes that combine artistry with professional ethics. Leaders who focus on developing the attributes of charisma, empathy, and hope will provide balance to the arts organizations they serve. Hard times will come and go, but the perseverance from these attributes will prepare leaders for influencing, intervening during a crisis, and bringing sustainability.


Borek, J., Lovett, D., & Towns, E. L. (2005). The good book on leadership: Case studies from the Bible. Broadman & Holman.


Gauld, Q. (2014). Empathy beyond the human: Interactivity and kinetic art in the context of a global crisis. Technoetic Arts: A Journal Of Speculative Research12(2/3), 389-398.


Greffe, X., Krebs, A., & Pflieger, S. (2017). The future of the museum in the twenty-first century: recent clues from France. Museum Management & Curatorship32(4), 319-334.


Nisbett, M., & Walmsley, B. (2016). The romanticization of charismatic leadership in the arts. Journal Of Arts Management, Law & Society46(1), 2-12.


Ballet Partnering Techniques for Business Partnering Success

pexels-photo-209948.jpegMalone University

April 4, 2018 |FOLLOWERSHIP

Ballet Partnering Techniques for Business Partnering Success

Leadership training has been championed as a key for personal success; learning to be a dynamic follower proves vital to organizational success. Followership is a remarkable concept. Essential followership techniques are emphasized in the methodological process of teaching ballet dancers to partner together.  Dancers are taught to generate frames, use improvisation, and to become experts in core focusing. These follower concepts require intense composure and connections with leaders.  The following lessons from the dance arena will help leaders engage team members in creating trust, demonstrating decision advocating, and developing intuition for strong personal and organizational partnering.

Framing for Trust

When teaching partnering to ballet dancers, the first lesson is to define the role of the leader and follower.  This moment in the classroom establishes who will be observing and who will be interpreting the signals of the movements first.  The initial dance leader generates a frame for creating trust.  The dancers are asked to be congruent when accomplishing the next several assignments and the frame is set to aid the team in creating motion past the simple definition of delegation. Both leader and follower work within the framed role to accomplish all tasks in synchronicity.  The follower learns to trust that the leader will set a reasonable tempo and the leader develops trust that the follower has a clear interpretation of the circumstances.

In Teresa Byinton’s (2010) research on mentoring relationships she clarifies that “creating a relationship of trust, clearly defining roles and responsibilities, establishing short- and long-term goals” is extremely effective for mentoring (p. 3). The individual innovation propensity of team members decreases when followers feel ambiguous about their role and responsibilities according to De Clercq and Belausteguigoitia (2017).  Leaders who to take the step of framing roles and responsibilities will help followers trust their pioneering ideas have a place in the business.

When lesson one is complete there is understanding of leader, follower, and specific responsibilities. A conversation has taken place that helps followers know the leader is interested in their interpretation and capabilities. Dancers are taught to generate frames because they are expected to be balanced, composed and synchronized.  Leaders can implement the usage of framing to clarify vision and timing for organizational success.  This will develop trust by revealing to followers that the leader is in-synch and that signal interpretations are accurate.

Improvisation for Decisions

Team imbalances are a natural part of organizational change. Followership offers the suggestion that leaders value this divergence and leverage with their followers for balance to be restored during decision-making. Dancers learn to use improvisation because it demonstrates decision advocating.  When the ballet leader and follower begin moving with seemingly vague movements, an opportunity for advocacy begins. The follower is taught to build on what they are given, and the leader is taught to respond by validating the movement and enhancing it with another.  Both ballet dancers are coached to remain composed as performers during the improvisation.  This technique and composition from team members in the business world allows organizational solutions to emerge which aids the decision-making process.

In an interview with the groundbreaking choreographer for Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, Ohad Naharin explains that the relationship with his dance technique and improvisation is reciprocal (Galili, 2015). The dancers’ improvisation plays an indispensable part in determining the decision of the production. Additional research on Naharin’s technique for partnering reveals, the dance “practitioner exercises individual agency in the attunement process of interpreting instructions and responding intentionally” (Melpignano, 2017, p. 113).

The proximity of ballet dance partners is customarily more kinesthetic and intimate than business leaders and followers; however, the illustration of ballet partnering from lesson two, learning improvisation for decision advocating–is virtuous for balancing the terrain of organizational change.  Followers who build on what they are given and leaders who respond with enrichments find better solutions.  Improvisation broadens the spectrum for decision-making.

Core Focus for Intuition

Advance usage of focus is key for dancers and business leaders. Several specific tasks involving the mission and duties of an organization will occur at once.  This requires intuitive synchronicity to keep followers focused and moving toward the vision and mission. Dancers learn to use a core focus for developing intuition. The third lesson in ballet partnering includes instructing the dancer to develop this core focus ability by horizonally focusing through their partner while maintaining an awareness of the partner’s core muscles of the abdomen and pelvis.  When the leader shifts his weight with the core muscle groups, it is a sign that he has committed to the movement direction. The follower then has the indicator she needs to implement the directive.

Hurwitz and Hurwitz (2015) imply that the partnering relationship has palpable consequences on how all actions are carried out.  They go on to explain “the core” suggests behavioral norms and strategy in addition to common core values and organizational vision (Hurwitz & Hurwitz, 2015, p. 194).  In an essay about viewing art, Pau Pedragosa explains, while talking about cubism, that a core focus of the eyes horizonally can offer “multiple perspectives on common space and shared time” (Pedragosa, 2014, p. 747). When dancers look beyond the tactile movements of the limbs and focus on the abdominal core they can see the leader’s indicators.

Once the third lesson in ballet partnering is learned, the process replicates through repetitive practice and leader-follower intuition is developed.  Leaders who introduce the tool of using a core focus for developing intuition will experience the accuracy of followers’ subsequent instinct. They can alter their path and followers will recognize what comportment leaders are promoting.


The view of relying on leaders to accomplish organizational success by scientifically delegating and tracking the tasks of company employees is heading for extinction. Followership is a “we generation” concept and it is happening now (Hurwitz & Hurwitz, 2015, p. 4).  Endorsing and training followership behaviors will kindle the personal, professional, and organizational success every leader seeks. Because ballet dancers are strong partners, their followership techniques of framing, improvisation, and using a core focus will also benefit businesses. Following ballet partnering prompts will help all leaders create trust, demonstrate decision advocating, and develop intuition with followers.  The result will be partnering success.


Byington, T. (2010). Keys to successful mentoring relationships. Journal of Extension48(6).

De Clercq, D., & Belausteguigoitia, I. (2017). Reducing the harmful effect of role ambiguity on turnover intentions. Personnel Review46(6), 1046-1069.

Galili, D. F. (2015). Gaga: Moving beyond technique with Ohad Naharin in the twenty-first century. Dance Chronicle38(3), 360-392.

Hurwitz, M. & Hurwitz, S. (2015). Leadership is Half the Story. Toronto, CN: University of Toronto Press.

Melpignano, M. (2017). Embodied philosophy in dance: Gaga and Ohad Naharin’s movement research. Dance Research Journal49(2), 112-114.

O’Conaill, D. (2013). On being motivated. Phenomenology and The Cognitive Sciences12(4), 579-595.

Pedragosa, P. (2014). Multiple horizons: phenomenology, cubism, architecture. European Legacy19(6), 747.

Inspiring: Handbook of a Christian Knight

Christian Knight

Followership dates back to Erasmus, a scholar around 1501.  He was asked how a soldier can change his ways. It inspired Enchiridion militis Christiani, or Handbook of a Christian Knight. Erasmus (1501) offered 22 rules for what we would call “good” followership.

Rule #1  –   Increase Your Faith
Rule #2  –   Act on Your Faith
Rule #3  –   Analyze Your Fears
Rule #4  –   Make Christ the Only Goal of Your Life
Rule #5  –   Turn Away from Material Things
Rule #6  –   Train Your Mind to Distinguish the True Nature of Good and Evil
Rule #7  –   Never Let any Setback Stop You in Your Quest
Rule #8  –   Face Temptation with God, not with Worry
Rule #9  –   Always Be Prepared for Attack
Rule #10  – Always Be Prepared for Temptation
Rule #11  – Guard Against Two Dangers; Surrender and Pride
Rule #12  – Turn your Weakness into Strength
Rule #13  – Treat Each Battle as if it Were Your Last
Rule #14  – Virtue does not Permit Vice
Rule #15  – Weigh Your Alternatives Clearly
Rule #16  – Never, Never, Never Give Up
Rule #17  – Always Have a Plan of Action
Rule #18  – Always Consider the Consequences of Your Actions
Rule #19  – Apply the “Would-My-Loved-Ones-Approve” Test
Rule #20  – Virtue has its Own Reward
Rule #21  – Life is Hard and Quick, Make it Count
Rule #22  – Repent of Your Wrongs

4 Reasons to Cheer instead of Whine

It’s easy to get into a whining habit.  It’s harder to get out of habitual complaining, over-analyzing, and being a fussy grump. Here are 5 reasons to start cheering!

  1. You’re not alone.  Even though you might think you are, you’re not. It’s time to pick your head up and start cheering others on.  You know it can be super rough to stay positive.  Now is the time to put on a hat, walk out of the house, buy 2 cups of coffee, and take one inside to a lonely entrepreneur.
  2. The natural environment exists. Gloomy day, so what! We can miss the beauty of nature if we neglect to look.  Even a cold, wet day can bring so much happiness to your soul if you choose to expose yourself.  Fresh air makes your lungs feel good.  It will also mean a lot more to see spring sprout if you’re allowing your eyes to spot dead leaves disintegrating.
  3. There are always more things to perceive.  Thank goodness everyone is not the same.  Go listen to someone else’s perception of a situation.  Our minds are always active, so it’s very good to input the same thing from different points of view.  When you feel frustrated from waiting in a line for a long time, ask the other’s in line how they are.  You may overwrite some of the reasons you were considering your pout face.
  4. Books.  They are here and available! You can go anywhere in the universe with adventurers.  You can sort out the box of memories.  You can investigate the mystery of angel touched candles.  These handheld devices bring a wealth of hope and peace.

If the holiday stress begins to rise and it’s rough, I hope you will remember some of these stress relievers.  Happy Holidays!

Wound-Licker or Warrior

Inspired by Children of the Day by Beth Moore Lifeway Publications

The gospel of God has the incomparable power to change lives destinies and destinations.  Paul and his traveling companions in 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 were not driven by…failure, suffering, insults, people, lies wrong reason, tricks, people pleasing, influencing flattery selfishness, human praise.  They were driven by God, bravery, the Good News, God’s test, God’s trust, and God’s heart.

“Sometimes the enemy likes to fuel our feelings of failure.  Just when we finally mustier the courage to act or take a stand for the gospel, he prompts us to believe we blew it…and we start an ongoing cycle of inadequacy.”

“We can’t let Satan shut us in or he wins that battle.  He’s trying to make wound-licker’s out of warriors.  When God opens the door again, let’s stand back up, brush ourselves off, and step through it.”

“Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.” ~Martin Luther


Seville Arts Project makes a Splash!

The Seville Arts Project is an expressive arts group.  Students meet weekly to use the arts to make friends, feel better about life, and learn how to make positive choices.

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