Participants and Observers

The other day we took our oldest daughter to an event. It was the kind of crowded event where people travel for miles to attend with lots of traffic and long lines. We witnessed large groups of people who either dressed up or dressed alike as they walked past us. It was a pretty amazing experience to watch people want to be part of something big.

During the actual event, it became clear that there are two types of people:

Participants, and Observers.

Participants leap with both feet into the experience. Observers watch from the sideline.

Participants take risks. Observers are reserved.

Participants don’t seem to care what others think. Observers are self-conscious.

Participants dress up in goofy costumes. Observers wear their normal clothes.

Participants believe. Observers are skeptics.

My daughter and all of the other Participants seemed to be living life in that moment and letting themselves become lost in the experience as the cares of the world melted away. The Observers seemed resigned to watch, unable to detach from everyday life and its many stresses and problems. Slowly, the Participants encouraged the Observers to join them and be part of the event. As the night wore on, most of us were Participants, even just for a moment.

How often do we find ourselves as Observers when we really want to be Participants? 

Does fear, skepticism, or what others may think, keep us in our seats?

To the Participants: Thank you for jumping in and showing us the way.

To the Observers: You can play too, and it will be worth it.

About Carl Weber

Carl Weber, is the owner and founder of Carl Weber Consulting, a consulting group that helps businesses, non-profits, and individuals understand themselves, hire and manage well, and become great leaders. Carl worked in local government for more than ten years, as the Town Administrator of a few towns in NH. Once upon a time he was a search and rescue swimmer for the US Navy. Carl holds Bachelors’ Degrees in Political Science & Community Development and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. Carl is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Motivators Analyst (CPMA). Carl regularly teaches on human factors and the relationship of behavior and leadership styles, as well as motivation, coaching, leadership challenges, and failing as a leader. His passion is to help leaders in their lifelong journey to finish well, to combat and work with their inner voice, and to live a meaningful story worth reading. Carl lives in Southern New Hampshire with his wife Amanda and together they are raising a small tribe of four young (somewhat crazy) women with the goal of unleashing them on the world to change it for the better.
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