The Leash Fetish

  • Unleashing talent
  • Unleashing creativity
  • Unleashing potential
  • Unleashing enterprise
  • Unleashing entrepreneurship

These aspirations I see nearly every day of my working life.  There is always something or someone to be ‘unleashed’.

But, where is the leash meister?  The evil one who holds us back?

Most systems of parenting, education and employment are designed to establish control, compliance, conformity and predictability.

Perhaps there are some systemic changes that we might make so that the challenge of unleashing is consigned to the history books?

But the real challenge is to recognise that with the transition to adulthood the leash IS off.  

We are free to choose and to act.  But like a dog that has been chained up for too long – when unleashed many of us have little desire to go beyond our former boundaries.

We ‘know’ our place and we stick to it.

The role of the enterprise educator is not to teach about business.  Nor is it to parade in front of students waving tenners inciting them to grab it!  Nor to put on yet another inspirational conference with a secret millionaire, dragon, apprentice or teenage entrepreneurial prodigy.

It is to help us to recognise that the leash has been slipped.  And we can begin the journey of becoming the person that we want.  And to show us how we can help ourselves and our peers to explore what we might be able to achieve through association, collaboration, perseverance, learning and skill.

This is the role of the enterprise educator.


  1. Hi Mike

    And I was hoping for something far more fruity on this post…

    Seriously though – I do think that events are a useful vehicle to help inspire people so that you can start to work with them on a personal level?


    • It was called the leash fixation and got little traffic. Since I changed it to the Leash Fetish all sort of people have turned up!

      I really did not intend this to be a post about ‘events’ (although I do think they work tend to better for professional development of service providers than as a tool for engaging anyone other than contemplators and preparers in P&D speak. With most large events you are preaching to the choir – unless you design them with great care.

      I hoped it might spark some discussion about how the leash gets put on? Rather than undoing the damage perhaps we could prevent it being done in the first place. Just a thought?


  1. […] The title of the conference was also telling – Unleashing Enterprise.  Much of the socialisation of young people is all about putting the leash on them.  We value compliance, academic achievement, team playing and conforming.   Those that dare to see things differently, to do things differently, to paddle their own canoe, tend to be bought back into line, or expelled.   And it is not only enterprise that we struggle to unleash.  Creativity, leadership, innovation, potential…all of these have been subject to the leash fetish. […]

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