When Was Your Last Trip to the Circus? An Example of Amazing Execution

By Alan Gehringer

We recently attended the Fortune Growth Summit in Las Vegas.  It was two days of great learning with a line up of excellent speakers and thought leaders. I always get a lot from these sessions. The interesting thing is that I think I saw the greatest form of execution on the last night we were there.

Most of our team had left already, and our CEO Patrick invited those that stayed to join him for a show.  There was a lot of joking around about what that show was going to be, but in the end, it was Mystère performed by Cirque Du Soleil.  I was aware of this company that produces and performs these wonderful shows and had seen snippets on TV; although, I never had the opportunity to experience one live.

It was one of the most incredible shows I have ever seen.  This is not your average circus act.  This is one of the best planned, choreographed, produced and “executed” shows I have ever seen.

We coach our clients to develop robust plans and to get everyone focused, aligned and to execute with purpose.  I think these individuals were listening in.

Here is the description of the show right from Cirque Du Soleil’s website:

“Mystère is classic Cirque du Soleil, combining the powerful athleticism, high-energy acrobatics and inspiring imagery that has become the company's hallmark.   Deemed a theatrical "flower in the desert," Mystère thrills generations of audiences with its exhilarating blend of whimsy, drama and the unimaginable brought to life onstage. Presented exclusively at Treasure Island, Mystère provides the ultimate discovery that life itself is a mystery.”

The one thing that hit me was how important excellent execution was for the health and safety of the team. If the performers were not focused and aligned in their efforts, somebody was going to get hurt very badly.  In business, we win or lose for the quarter.  These individuals are putting their lives on the line.  Of course, there were some safety devices, but I do not think enough to overcome every situation for the risks I saw them take.

So I encourage you to check out one of their acts, or even take a look at the video trailer on their website. Then ask yourself if your team is this aligned and if your execution is at this level.  It definitely set a high bar in my mind.

Enjoy! And execute well, Alan


Executive Summary from Patrick Thean's book Rhythm

Alan Gehringer


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images