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I know why the caged tiger paces

I meet several people in my every day journey with different personalities and different competencies. We all know them, we are all one of them – we all play a role in the production that is life. There is an unwritten hierarchy and a natural order on how we all enter the stage and how we all interact; sometimes in short cycles like the development of new products or technologies and sometimes in long cycles like evolution.

Regardless of how long the period is, there is an almost linear progression of personalities and related competencies needed along each state. It becomes an extremely important leadership skill to identify those personalities and best allocate the traits associated with them in the right context and most important place them at the right “time” within the business model.

When you are an innovator, a creative force, a dreamer or a pioneer there is a restlessness in you that defies status quote. A force literally takes over you and functions on its own. You the creator become a mere witness of the force creating. Innovators and creators must create, true leaders must lead; it is not a matter of choice.

Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of human needs work comments that “fulfilled people must be what they can be” in other words they cannot rest until they achieve the potential in them to their fullest, leaving no stone unturned. This inner combustion often presents what appears to be a tortured soul to the outside viewer, when in fact it is creativity and innovation at its birthplace.

In every organization and in every team, there is usually such a force. It is the fuel propelling organizations to innovation, propelling known dogma to be questioned and challenged. Rather than growing frustrated by their creative genius or non-acceptance of status quo why not re-position them at the front of the business process in areas such as product development, business development or product/process design to name a few. In other words, why not make their chronic dissatisfaction and restlessness work for your team or organization instead of against it. Find creative outlets. If a current position does not exist perhaps one of “projects” or “campaigns” would fulfill their desires for innovation. The ability to be a catalyst for change and innovation should be celebrated.

These people are usually not the ones guiding the parade, they are the ones that dreamed the parade in the first place. They saw it before anyone else did. They are not the lead character, they are the ones that wrote the play for others to now perform and enjoy.

At my most recent leadership-coaching workshop, we explored the concept of reframing (looking at something from a different angle) and the concept of perspectives. In other words, looking at what else something has to offer different than the perspective we are evaluating it from.

A well-respected industry leader recently characterized me as someone “restless” and to that, I would have to agree and thank my lucky stars for it. I am indeed a restless soul – always questioning, always searching, always challenging what is, why it is, how it is and most importantly to determine what is it I don’t know on a particular topic or situation. Through much training and self-awareness I have grown to appreciate my creative spirit. It has always served me quite well – my ability to see beyond what is in front of me and to relentlessly question something way past what could be deemed necessary or sane has opened new worlds and opportunities not only for me but for my clients and the organizations I represent. Early in my career, when innovation and creativity were not part of my job description, I volunteered and looked for opportunities for self-expression in my personal life. I have not always done things to nurture myself through the years (that is not my personality) I have however nurtured and fearlessly defended my non-conformism innovative spirit and creativity.

The caged tiger paces because it is in his every nature to run, to be free, to be what it must be. If you are said tiger, do not rest until you find freedom of expression and fulfilment of purpose. If you have a tiger in your midst, nurture, lead, champion and when possible just get out of their way.

I have very often wondered if David whispered to Michelangelo or if he shouted to him but either way Michelangelo knew David was existed in the stone long before anyone else did. When asked about it he said “ I saw David in the marble and carved until I set him free”.

Carolina Billings

Carolina Billings

Carolina M. Billings is an executive with 15+ year’s leadership experience in the fields of Business Development, Human Resources and Finance. As CFO-CHRO of a multi-million business conglomerate, she performs a truly interdisciplinary role within a portfolio of diverse industries ranging from Supply Chain, Logistics & Distribution, Wealth Management, Furniture Import, Sales & Distribution as well as Interior Design. She champions leadership initiatives as well as empowering and coaching/mentoring others to lead. Developing a hybrid of Finance and Human Resources has enable her to become leading business partner. Her great ability to influence and engage others in the pursuit of goals and objectives makes her a true innovator and change agent. Carolina is currently pursuing her Masters in Interdisciplinary studies with Royal Roads University, She holds Graduate Certificates from Cornell University and Queen’s University in the fields of Change Management and Leadership. She is a Co-Active Professional coach currently doing her practicum towards Certification with ICF. She holds a CHRL designation and a High Honor’s HRM Graduate Certificate. Carolina is the founder of Big Fish Coaching a private practice specializing in personal leadership, career coaching, conflict resolutions and life change management.
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1 Comment » for I know why the caged tiger paces
  1. Dear Ms. Billings,
    I am a truck driver who was injured on the job and haven’t been able to drive for a while. However, I haven’t been idle. I built a website for truck drivers and now I’m looking to spread the word I have sent press releases to several trucking magazines, but I don’t think that is enough. Do you have any suggestions as to how to go about getting my bout there? I am flexible and willing to make whatever changes are necessary to achieve success.
    Thank you for your valuable time.

    J. L. Page

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