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11 Learning to Lead at The Edge > Relax . . . It Takes Time to Play Like Yourse... - Pg. 187

Learning to Lead at The Edge 187 > Are the other parts of your life--work, relationships, physical health, and renewal--consistent with this sense of purpose? Balance The final skill in the art of thriving is the ability to find balance among all five elements. Of course, no one can create and maintain perfect bal- ance in life. Personal and professional growth involves change, experi- mentation, risk, and mistakes. The art of thriving is not based on an artificial attempt to establish rigid equanimity. On the contrary, its essence lies in the ability to know when life is out of balance and when you need to restore balance. Developing this ability is a lifelong process. Morihei Ueshiba, the fa- mous martial arts teacher, was once asked by a student,"Master, how is it that you are never off balance when you are attacked?" His reply serves as a metaphor:"I am often off center--but I recover so quickly you never notice." Mastering the art of thriving, then, means having the courage to ex- plore the unknown, the willingness to risk losing your balance, and the tenacity to find that balance again. It is a demanding journey, but the re- wards are great. Relax . . . It Takes Time to Play Like Yourself A final observation on leading at The Edge comes from my ongoing quest to play the tenor saxophone. On this journey I have spent a great deal of time on the plateau--perhaps even at "base camp"--but have yet to be discouraged. One reason for my perseverance is the encouragement of my teacher, Steve, a superb player who brings out the best in every- one. I always tape my lessons so that I can hear what Steve does, and also so that I can listen to myself and learn what I need to do to perform bet- ter. I usually have to grit my teeth when I listen to my own playing, but one day I went to a section of the tape where I had been improvising over a song called "Blue Bossa." I was amazed. I was incredible. I was fluid. American Management Association ·