In this video IE Business School leadership professor Margarita Mayo uses tango dancing as a metaphor to speak about leadership. She draws an interesting comparison between the two from the perspective of the dancer’s role in tango.

The origin of the word tango has always intrigued me. There are many theories about its roots. One is that it is actually an onomatopoeic term because the word tango sounds like the drums used in early forms of the dance. Opposers of this theory say that the drum was never a typical tango instrument. The first tango instruments were the violin, guitar, flute, and later a concertina-style instrument called the bandoneon.

Another theory is that the word tango originated from the Italian word tangere, which means ‘to touch’. However, considering that early tango did not feature the close embrace it is known for today, the word tangere is hardly likely to be the origin.

Some say that the most plausible theory is that which claims the word tango has African roots. In several African languages, tango means indoors – the closed space which was used for dancing… Well, who knows. The fact is that tango has become a dance form that is admired the world over.

Maybe we can’t be certain about the origin of the word tango, but one thing is for sure and that is that the world needs meaningful leadership. Listen to what Prof. Mayo has to say about both. You might end up wanting to dance with her just like Prof. Burak Konyuncu from Rouen Business School did.

First published on The Other Side, the IE Blog about the other side of IE faculty