It’s Your Circus–Why Not Create It?

The other day, I was talking to my friend Kathy–someone wearing her red cape fearlessly in her role at a global pharmaceutical company (yes, you can do it, too!).  Kathy will often share something so insightful it makes you stop in your tracks. This time, while chatting about all that’s happening in both of our work and lives, she said with glee, “”Hey, it’s your circus and your monkeys, so you can do what you want!”

Now, that was a new one for me, and I told her so.  She said her old boss used the phrase in a negative way to deflect responsibility when he disagreed, i.e., “Hey, it’s not my circus and not my monkeys, so they can do whatever the [bleep] they want.” I liked Kathy’s positive spin much better.

So at the risk of introducing yet another metaphor for you Red Cape Revolutionaries, I had some fun thinking about how our work IS our circus–and ours to create. We can be ringmaster, trapeze artist, or lion tamer–with practice and passion, whatever we want. To be successful, the circus demands we be both creative AND disciplined; adventurous AND predictable, so we can use all sides of our personality. And in our circus, while sometimes we have to scoop elephant dung, other times we get to eat cotton candy.