Sprezzatura as a leadership skill
I have been learning to surf. I am not entirely sure I will ever stop learning. I watch the professionals practice and learn. Each day, always seeking the next move.
Yet I am far from the place of refinement of the craft. Still lost in the weeds of one thousand pieces competing for my attention in each second.
To watch someone who has become fluid with the wave and the board, a oneness and ease, is to watch poetry in motion.
There is an archaic Italian word, Sprezzatura, that speaks to this. The elan and grace of one performing their craft as if they are one with it.
People who are excellent at customer service, who are rarely ruffled by projected rudeness, have mastered the art of Sprezzatura.
It is a skill built on practice, kissing the flow state, calming a distracted mind, focusing, embodying ease.
We know Sprezzatura when we meet a waiter in a bustling restaurant who keeps the scene calm. As a result, we become calm.
There are times the practice of Sprezzatura might be the single greatest leadership skill we can embody. In a world of chaos, to show up with elan and grace, rooted in a grounded sense of connection to the calm at the other side of this particular storm, gifts calm to those we lead.
Photo taken August 30th 2021