With the Hula Hoop turning 50 last month I want to celebrate it’s lessons in leadership.  Yes, leadership and hula hooping are very similar.

In the NY Times Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, was interviewed about leadership and ways that you can better your personal style.  She mentioned that her company utilizes hula hoops to induct their new employees and make them feel welcome.  When I think about what a hula hoop is and how it is used, I think about leading employees.

A hula hoop can help a leader learn how to manage and connect with employees.  If you think about it, the hula hoop uses perpetual motion to stay afloat.  It comes in many colors and sizes, as long as you keep moving you can adapt to any hula hoop.  Hula hooping is a lot like a person leading a team.  As long as you keep moving with the ability to adapt to any situation you will stay afloat.  You will have transitional hiccups where you have to get yourself acclimated to new experiences, however you will notice after a short amount of time you can perfect your skill.

While sustaining the motion you have to make tweaks here and there to keep the hula hoop spinning.  All of the constant motion can be tiresome and hard leading to the hula hoops inevitable slowing and starting to fall.  Much like motivating employees it is important to keep making those adjustments to keep the motion steady.

As the hula hoop turns 50, I urge you to think about how you make adjustments to leading your employees as unique individuals. What you do early on in your life can impact your leadership style in the future. Think about those learning opportunities that helped to mold you as a leader, did any of them involve playful fun like hula hooping?

What other leadership tips or lessons can you think of when you think of hula hoops?

Image Credit: The Stock Exchange (www.sxc.hu) User: ba1969