Living with three preschoolers, I have practically memorized the Disney movie, Frozen. The basic premise of the movie is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, The Snow Queen, and focuses on a sibling relationship in the kingdom of Arendelle. The Snow Queen Elsa accidentally casts the kingdom into an eternal winter and her sister, Anna, and an ice harvester named Kristoff team up to break the spell.
Our house features a daily performance of the song from the movie, Let It Go, complete with dress-up costumes and very loud, off-key toddler voices. At this point in the movie, Queen Elsa, having her previously hidden powers exposed to her kingdom, fled to the North Mountain. In isolation, she realizes that she no longer has to hold back her powers and she begins creating an ice castle for herself.
The first hundred times that I heard this song, I thought it was a cute princess song; however, when you begin to listen to the words, there is a great take-away for audiences of all ages. One of the verses:
It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
Often as leaders in government, we find ourselves in the midst of controversy, political issues, a multitude of daily tasks, personnel issues, the bearers of bad news, and, at times, the witnesses to the unfortunate circumstances of others. Being a leader can be overwhelming. Being a leader can be difficult. Being a leader can be sad.
Being a leader also means not getting buried in emotion, to focus on the things that you can control, and to act accordingly. As many have said before me, it is a challenge to know the difference between what you can control and what you cannot as well as what you should change and what you should not (Tweet This). As this song states, step away from the situation – find your place of isolation – and take a look at the larger picture. My guess is that the action needed will be easier to decipher once you “let go” of all of the emotion and the smaller tangents that often surround difficult situations.
The next time a “storm” lands on your organization, consider taking a step back and listen to the words of this Disney princess – happy toddlers available upon request.
Executive Search Manager