Leadership and marriage are like the pindaric ode of poetry. Pindar was an Ancient Greek poet from Thebes. Of all nine lyric poets, Pindar it has been said is by far the greatest. His poetry speaks of his magnificence, beautiful thoughts, and the rich joys of his language and matter, and his passion make him inimitably the best. His poems, like marriage and leadership however can also seem difficult and even insane at times to get through and understand. Pindar was known for his pindaric poetic style which includes a triad of strophe, antistrophe, and an epode, or ending. All three elements can also be found in the passionate poetry of love and work.
The Strophe-Use the strophe to reinforce where you are going, always include your partner and those on your team, those closest to you, in your journey and vision. In poetry a strophe contributes to the arrangement and recurrence of rhymes, giving the pièce its character. A “strophe” in poetry is repeated once or more in an unmodified form. If you are clear in your vision you should be able to repeat the strophe, i.e.-your vision, time and time again creating valuable character and clarity to your marriage, your team, and those on it.
The Antistrophe-The antistrophe is the all important message. When differences arise in love and work don’t be so busy dancing first right and then left in defending your position that you miss the message. How many times do you find yourself not really listening to your partners in life and work because you have your head busy rebuilding the stanza? We become so worried about being right we spend more time here than we do listening to what matters most to our partner. Learn to be fully present in the now. Listen to what others have to say and be sure they know they are heard.
The Epode-Linger on, and in the in the beauty of the epode. In marriage one might say “hang out long enough to help do the dishes”, don’t leave before it’s over. How many times do we head out as soon as we have what we need? In work it maybe it’s hanging out to clean up after the meeting. In love and marriage our partners and our team need to know we are there to roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work as well as enjoy the good stuff. Staying to help do the clean-up, whether at work or at home, is the meeting after the meeting. This is where the most important and meaningful conversations take place. It is where damaged relationships are repaired and good relationships are strengthened.
Spending time seeking improvements in all three areas is going to condition you as a great leader and get the rock and roll marriage we all strive for!