Juggling Mishaps and Leadership

I would often watch jugglers almost effortlessly drop a club, continue juggling, pick it back up, and then continue with their set, graduating to flaming clubs and knives. 

I later learned that this “mishap” was always staged. When considered logically, what juggler would attempt juggling swords if they weren’t 100% confident in their ability to not make a mistake? 

By dropping a club, the juggler is hinting to the audience that they are not perfect. Because if they were perfect, there would be no suspense or drama once they light the clubs on fire or switch to swords. 

It’s staged in the way that it’s planned, but it’s real in the way that they still need to successfully drop the club so that they can pick it up again and continue juggling. 

In this way, I think that with a mastery of soft skills comes the knowledge that you know what is effective to get others to trust you. 

You can both simultaneously understand and know that taking responsibility for a mistake in a genuine and thoughtful way will build trust and psychological safety with those in the room, AND genuinely believe that you should take responsibility because it’s the right thing to do.

Extra context: With this mastery comes the responsibility to behave ethically. It’s making sure you’re not manipulating people just as you wouldn’t pretend you couldn’t juggle in order to scam someone out of money in a bet.

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