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  • Georgia Henry

Are you hanging on or enjoying the ride?

Updated: May 28, 2020

I often use the analogy of a roller coaster when I am coaching leaders and we are discussing setting boundaries and the importance of creating the right environment for engagement and contribution, no matter what the circumstances.  

Have you been on a roller coaster?  Think about the first thing you did when the safety bar was put in place.  Did you push against it to check how much it moved, whether it was secure and would keep you safe?  We do this on roller coasters and also in many areas of our life, especially at work, even if we expect the ride to be exhilarating, scary, fast or something else.

It is human nature to want to have and understand boundaries.  When faced with a lack of boundaries, or boundaries that constantly move, reactions can be anywhere from panic, inaction or procrastination, to uncontrolled and irrational decisions and actions.

In the context of culture and organisational effectiveness, boundaries are important even when you are encouraging innovation, creativity and problem solving.  Culture is all about behaviours and ensuring the behaviours within your organisation are supporting the achievement of strategic objectives, mitigating risks and creating competitive advantage.

Too often I work with leaders who have not been clear on setting firm behavioural boundaries for their teams and the organisation and this can create uncertainty, elevate risk and make managing inappropriate behaviours difficult.  Boundaries for behaviour come in the form of clear expectations derived from the organisations values, decision standards and authorisations, role responsibilities and the guidance and role modelling of leaders. 

Think about your organisation and your team ... is everyone focusing on the safety rail or the exhilaration of being on the roller coaster?

To find out more about HENRY REED's Leadership Development and Coaching programs, visit or contact us on 1300 266 995,



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