Leadership, Music and Dance: Three Dances of a Cohesion Culture™

With every day that passes, we should celebrate all that it means to be alive and what it means to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Leadership is the ability to motivate, influence, and enable others to achieve success. Some leaders inspire music, others drown it out. Leaders that drive cohesion not only hear the music, but they also help make it and, without fail, bring the team to the dance floor. 

What drives me is being able to affect others. It’s my purpose and I am passionate about it. I love when others allow their dreams to morph into visions and then take action. 

For me, vision is like music to my ears. That’s why building a Cohesion Culture™ is important. It’s the dance floor (metaphorically speaking). It’s the place where people feel a part of something. And when people are in sync with the rhythm, they have a sense of value and purpose; they dance with passion and fully commit themselves to the music—a.k.a. the “cohesive spirit” of teamwork.

Dance, dance, dance

Getting the team to act cohesively may just be akin to three special dances I have lined up for you to consider. So for fun, let’s see how these dances relate to the three elements of cohesion: belonging, value, and commitment. 

  1. Hokey Pokey (Belonging) – allows the leader to offer very simple dance moves, so people have a chance to put one foot in and shake it all around. Not much skill involved, just need to know body parts. Regardless of whether a person can dance or not, they can do this one. The Hokey Pokey allows individuals to be part of the community. No matter how well they shake it, stomp it, or clap it, they can have a level of individuality, yet come together with others who are working together also doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s a nonsense dance with a no-nonsense outcome. This is how cohesion starts—with Belonging. That’s what it’s all about!
  2. Electric Slide (Value) – is about teaching a dance sequence to a large group of people who move together in unison. The instructions are simple, repetitive, and even people with minimal dance skills can follow along. The Electric Slide is a little more complex than the Hokey Pokey and when folks master just one rotation, they experience value. They know that their moves mattered and contributed to the group working together. In this dance, the value either comes in the self-satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone get through a rotation or two of the dance.
  3. The “Dirty Dancing” Iconic Lift (Commitment) – this climactic, final scene of the movie is all about Baby jumping into the arms of Johnny Castle. This is about trust, practice, and fully committing to each other. The final element of a culture of cohesion is commitment. In the movie, Johnny focuses entirely on Baby and her success. He knew that Baby’s success would be his success, too. That’s how commitment works with cohesive teams. Even though it’s been 30-years, I still get goosebumps watching this scene. Something tells me when leaders focus and show genuine care for someone else, then the most famous quote from the movie can apply to all cohesive team members, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Dance Like Everyone Is Watching 

When a Cohesion Culture™ is fully engaged, then it becomes that toe-tapping, finger-snapping, head-bobbing kinda beat where everyone is having a good time and they are glad they came to the dance party. Cohesion is the art of bringing folks together and creating action in harmony and unison. It’s helping people with their dance moves so they can feel good, move with confidence, and commit wholeheartedly to getting in the groove with their move. 

My Ultimate Dance Card

Ultimately, my goal would be to pull off that John Travolta and Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction “I want to dance” scene. You remember, the barefoot, twist your hips, two fingers across the face to the left, then to the right. What classic moves, so smooth they grooved to the tune of Chuck Berry’s 1964 hit “You Never Can Tell.” 

Get Your Groove On and Make the Moves

No matter what you think about dancing, building cohesive teams ensure the type of engagement and performance leaders want and expect out of their people. Fill that dance card, get up on the floor and dance, dance, dance. Everyone is watching.

What keeps you from the dance floor? Why is it important for people to belong to groups or teams? How can you help others see value in who they are and what they do?