Five Leadership Lessons From Cirque Du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil shows have been my favorite ever since I saw their first show in Asia, about 15 years back.  Their shows always have something magical and theatrical about them and invokes your senses.

Quick Facts on Cirque Du Soleil 

A clip of Zarkana

I recently watched their Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour Show and on my way home, as I was thinking about their various shows that I have watched and enjoyed, I realized that each of us have a lot to learn from the artists, as individuals and collectively.

Key Lessons

1. Synergy – each of their performers are in sync be it in team acrobatics or on the trapeze or performing on the ropes or balancing on each other. The synchronization of their movements and acts makes the entire show captivating.

This synergy is not possible if they weren’t sure about themselves and if they didn’t practice for hours to perform the way they perform.

2. Trust – When the performers jump from one pole to another or on the ropes, they place their trust in their co-performer.  Watching them jump and perform the acrobatics hanging onto a rope or their co-performers hands is an exhilarating and palpable moment. Trust is well articulated in each of their acrobatic acts. The cast and the performers have respect for each other. Without trust and respect, the literally death-defying acts is not possible.

3. Talents – each of the performers are multi-talented, creative and skilled and able to display the same. Each of their talents is unique and they give an impeccable performance individually and as a team. However, at no stage do they allow their ego to take over.

4. Focus – the crowd is cheering, applauding yet the mindfulness and focus they display is spectacular. How do they manage to excel? Passion, practice, taking guidance from a mentor or coach and an unending desire to excel.

5. Bond – Their artists display a wonderful bond amongst them despite their different backgrounds and cultures and make the several seemingly impossible feats possible. They have created a special bond through their work, with their clientele, who watch their shows year after year in the countries they perform.

I’ve not been fond of circuses, not because of the performance but because of the way the animals and people are treated in many of these Circus Companies.

I’m not sure how Cirque Du Soleil is run but it seems that they have taken care of their people and their people have grown their business.

A leader is no different from the performers at Cirque Du Soleil. As a leader, you need to combine your skills into a single repertoire from which you trust, lead and inspire your team and people around you.  As a leader, you need to push beyond your comfort level, believe in yourself and your team and pave the way forward.

Reflective Questions

Are you ready to lead the way?

What are you doing to create an environment of trust, synergy, mindfulness and grace? 

How do you bring your creativity out?

What do you do when you feel stuck and in a rut? 

What do you do to excel in what you are talented in?

For Coaching, Facilitating, Speaking and Workshops Connect.  About Lalita Raman

 image source


  1. allipolin says

    I love Cirque Du Soleil! I always leave feeling uplifted and inspired. Thank you for breaking down some of the many reasons why!

    • says

      Thank you Alli. I relate to that. I love their shows, the precision, the grace, the trust, the challenge, the way each of them individually and together display their talent. Amazing.

      Thank you Alli.

  2. says

    I have seen several Cirque du Soleil performances and always walk away so awestruck! Some great ideas on synergy and trust resonate with me, Lalita as you did a beautiful job in connecting this amazing show to leadership. I agree, that so many of the same elements are critical in successful teams.

  3. says

    I LOVE Cirque du Soleil! I’ve seen both Saltimbanco and Varekai. I was enthralled with both the live music, art, story, movement, comedy… Each show was an amazing experience.

    Yes, they really do have unity in diversity down to both an art and science! Great analogies for leadership and team collaboration.

    Wonderful post Lalita.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two + fifteen =