Agile Risk Leaders Do the TANGO

Known globally as The Risk Doctor, David has been working in risk management for about 30 years. He has worked in 48 countries on every continent except the Antarctic (too cold!), with clients in most industries.

Risk practitioners seek inspiration from many different places, but not many look to the world of professional dancing to improve their leadership effectiveness. An innovative workshop, recently developed by Leader Tango, uses the social dance known as Argentine tango as a metaphor for the leadership strengths and skills needed to succeed in today’s business world.

When two dancers perform the Argentine tango, it is a very intense and passionate event. They are completely focused on each other, fusing their movements into a complex unity that tells a powerful story. One of the dancers takes the lead, with the other following closely. To dance the Argentine tango well, five characteristics are essential:

1. Trust. The two dancers must trust each other completely as they perform, with each one relying on the other to move in the right way at the right time, providing support where necessary.

2. Agility. Argentine tango involves fast moves, rapid changes of direction, and a complex series of steps, kicks and turns. These are not possible unless both dancers are highly agile.

3. Naturalness. Although the dance is complex, when it is done well it seems simple and natural, with two people moving seamlessly in synchronicity, telling a story of love and passion.

4. Guidance. The dance relies on understanding which partner is leading, with the other following …

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"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."

- Sally Kempton