Leading and Following Through Tango
Ira Chaleff has taught Courageous Followership for Georgetown University’s Professional Manager Certificate Program for nearly a decade. His course, The Courageous Follower, is one of the core requirements for graduation. Ira was the invited graduation speaker for the 2011 graduation. In the video, he refers to Linda Hopper, Director of Training and Organization Development. Linda contributed a chapter to a book Ira co-edited, The Art of Followership, on the relationship of Servant Leadership and Courageous Followership.
Leadership and Followership, like couple’s dances, require trust between the partners. Ira Chaleff introduces the video he produced on Leading and Following Through Tango to the graduates of Georgetown’s Professional Manager Certificate Program. He describes why the Chinese translation of his book “The Courageous Follower” is “Dances with Leaders”. He recounts how he became fascinated with tango in Buenos Aires, how he met the dancers in the video and their mutual fascination with exploring leading and following in different aspects of life.
Chaleff has teamed with Sharna Fabiano, founder of Tangomercurio and the Tango Mercurio Community Orchestra in Washington, DC to produce a unique and aesthetically charming video. Utilizing the wisdom and grace of one of the best tango instructors in the United States, we get new insights into how the partner in the follower role can bring out the creativity of the partner in the leader role. We also witness how poor following in its various forms can undermine the leader and undo the partnership. In between each dance sequence Sharna and her partner Isaac Oboka dialogue about what Isaac as the leader experienced when Sharna demonstrates a variety of poor following. Their unrehearsed banter is delightful and instructive. In the final sequence, Sharna demonstrates how a strong follower can steady a leader who has lost balance — something leaders in every sphere of life need at one time or another.
“Tango: The Dance of the Leader & Follower”
Video created by Kevin Good
Leadership and Followership are both challenging roles. This discussion is a fascinating commentary of the video “Tango: The Dance of the Leader & Follower” produced by Ira Chaleff. He quotes from his previously unreleased interview with tango master Sharna Fabiano on how she sees and appreciates the different roles and adds further commentary.
Thoughts after watching de video “Tango: The Dance of the Leader & Follower”