This past weekend was the closing retreat for Leadership Waterloo Region – participating in this program was an absolutely exhilerating experience, and I highly recommend the program to anyone who is considering getting involved in the community in a leadership role. Although there was a lot of review and learning, there was also a great deal of celebration, and Saturday night during a late-night dancing session, an entertaining "pearl of wisdom" fell from my lips: nothing camoflages complete incompetence better than excessive exuberance.
Now, at the time I was refering to my spastic flailing (aka my attempts to dance) but the more we thought about it, the more we realized it applied to other situations as well – it’s always amazing the number of people I interact with who don’t necessarily have a clear direction of what they are doing, or where they are going, but are getting there quickly! Similarly, I find it inspiring the number of people who are able to look past their lack of knowledge or experience in a field?- and dive in with both feet. For example – my attempts to dance (or my attempts to play golf, or most other sports for that matter) or other’s attempts to learn a new subject material.
So, although at first glance that statement may appear to be a negative one, I think I’m going to start using it as a touchstone for my approach to new things. Excessive exuberance, here I come!