A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post with a Spring theme that I decided might be worthy of another look. As you reflect on your current situation as a leader what is getting in the way of your ability to flourish? Read on to learn more about this theme.
The beginning of another Spring season seems like a good time to consider what causes people, plants, animals, and other organisms to grow. A particularly favorable environment can dramatically influence the success of a species, causing it to develop in a healthy and vigorous way.
For example, my fenced in back yard with a well-maintained lawn has become a favorite habitat for the many rabbits that seem to thrive in our semi-rural neighborhood. Throughout the year I can observe them eating and lounging in the lush green grass. Their ability to flourish in this relatively safe environment has also forced me to be extra vigilant in preventing them from choosing my yard as their perpetual maternity ward.
Unlike rabbits, who require a minimal set of circumstances to prosper, human beings have complex needs and wants that influence their ability to thrive in the workplace. Perhaps that is why some leaders simply choose the easy route and behave the way they are most comfortable, regardless of its impact on other people. This may be acceptable in the short-term but is sure to create challenges if the leader never adapts his or her approach. When leaders flourish or decline the enterprise often reflects this development.
A flourishing leader must possess more than just skills and knowledge about the job. Today’s uncertain and stressful times require competencies in conflict management, work-life balance, how to develop other leaders, emotional intelligence, and teamwork. For many leaders this is foreign territory so it is not surprising when they are ill-equipped to do the work. Organizations need to invest more intentionally in leadership development and coaching or mentoring programs. Even a seasoned leader is not immune from learning more about themselves and how to be more effective in their role.
What areas of your personal and professional life could use some retooling or exposure to new ways of thinking? Where are you guilty of maintaining the status quo instead of advancing toward a new personal improvement goal? Who could assist you in your growth and when are you willing to get started? As the earth is reborn through its annual ritual of seasons, leaders should also ponder how they will ensure their ability to flourish in the days and weeks ahead. Without a plan, and commitment to implementing it, one’s ability to lead will decline and eventually die. Nurturing your personal growth and investing in the development of your team will also create an organization that flourishes. What are you waiting for? Spring has sprung!