Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Fear of Falling, or is that Leading?

I am at the UniCredit Bank Group's Leadership Learning Centre in Turin.  I'm helping to facilitate a leadership programme here.

It's a fabulous programme, although its not actually run by UniCredit itself: we're just lucky enough to be using the place.

And what a place it is!

All baroque revival on the outside, and super modern learning technology on the inside.  Certainly one of the best and most interesting learning environments I have ever worked in.

Scuola Unimanagement Torino 200
Downloaded from Flickr under Creative Commons License

And the learning is embodied in the building itself.

For example, three floors up, its all glass underfoot.

You can't look down when you get out of the lift.  Absolutely not.  You just look straight ahead, and keep walking.  It's OK if you don't look down.

Its all the risk and terror of leading in these uncertain times every time you go for a coffee.

Astonishing, really. For a moment you feel right on the edge. Which is great for a leadership programme, because the edge is exactly where a leader should be.

In fact, I would argue, its where we all should be.

And as for the staircase, also made of solid glass: even more challenging.  

Its fine going up, but down?  No way.  

But perhaps if my coffee depended on it, I would do the stairs too, terrified or not.

Oh I get it!  Embodied learning. 

About leadership, in this case.  Learning to tolerate the fear of flying

And you know, it really works. Wonderful really.

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