Relationships are at the heart of everything we do, from the boardroom to the living room, relationships matter. By valuing ‘relationship capital’ we learn to experience ourselves as part of many wider teams, projects and systems. In this article, Katie Churchman draws parallels between systems inspired leadership and great theatre directing.
Join me as I sit in the director’s chair and consider how this perspective might help us to recognize the different systems in our lives and acknowledge the valuable intelligence that this viewpoint holds.
When I was at university, I spent most of my time directing plays as opposed to studying for my degree. Whilst I loved directing, my star-struck younger self longed for the spotlight and so I ended up pursuing a career in acting. Yet throughout my acting career, I found myself itching to sit back in the director’s chair. Not for the power, but for the perspective. The ability to see all of the moving parts at once: the multiple characters and their fluctuating intentions, the lights, the sound, the scenery, the costumes. Everything is in the director’s hand- and yet at the same time- the production is always greater than the sum of its parts.
My brother- Michael-currently heads up the lighting team for a new Cirque de Solei show in Hangzhou, China, so I know first-hand how hard technicians and designers work, without receiving the same applause as the performers. Michael’s role is demanding, often underappreciated and yet absolutely vital to the success of the production. Great directors recognize this and value ALL of the members of their team, whether they are cast or crew.