This weekend I poured attention into a large peony plant that produces about 50 huge, fragrant blooms every season. The bush produces dozens of stalks topped with a crowning bud at the top with several smaller buds lower on the stalk. After a decade of nurturing this plant every spring, I’ve learned that everything below the crown has to go. This plant requires a single focus for each stalk or else the entire production falls under the weight. Every spring hundreds of buds fall to the ground. Hundreds.
When I get to talk to groups and teams about leadership and how we get to choose to make choices that enable success – this single focus often comes up. As leaders we get to help our teams identify and remove what isn’t central to producing exactly what is needed for them to produce the best results. Actions are either aligned with the results you need or they drain valuable resources. As a leader, it’s a choice – distracted, overwhelmed, mediocre producing staff or happy, highly engaged team members who pour everything into exactly what our companies need from them.
Yes, it takes time. Yes, it involves letting some things go. But the result is healthy and vibrant and resilient.
So I get to work cleaning out what prevents her from thriving and producing the beautiful show we anticipate by Memorial Day. Every single stalk is addressed. It requires patience and precision to snip the extra buds so that they pop off without damaging the main stalk. Nothing got missed, the stalks are ready and the holiday weekend show should be spectacular without anything more from me. Perfection!
I love how nature teaches…. #leadership#leadershipdevelopment#alwayslearningalwaysimproving #pruning #peonies#spring #springcleaning #singlefocus#singlefocustowin #success
Wearing a watch stopped making sense to me 10 or more years ago. Tell me if you can relate to the following scenario?
My mobile phone became the best, most accurate way to keep time. As mobile phones got smarter, my phone began to remind me where and when I needed to be. It was brilliant and simple.
My watch felt redundant, and began to feel restrictive. I didn't like watching minutes inexplicably escape faster than everything else that needed attention. I decided to ditch that constant reminder on my wrist and it felt great! I know I'm not the only one who tucked their time piece away in a drawer in favor of a little more sanity. Maybe you did too.
Over the last decade, I appreciated the mental freedom of that choice many, many times. Then New Years 2016 happened.
We got to start a new tradition this year and gathered around the big glass table to create goals and share how we could best support each other in the coming year. We rifled through stacks of magazines pulling photos and words that inspired us as we looked inward and contemplated what should take priority in the coming months.
We giggled, sharing each others' nervousness with this new activity as we put goals out on the table for support and input. It was powerful as we saw each other both in that moment around the table together and in the visions we were creating for each of our futures.
It was interesting to see how the pictures and words fit with the feelings and emotions we aspired to expand in the coming months. We acknowledged the focus, the stretch, the freedom, the joy, the connection and the discipline it would take to get there. The process was fun. It was peaceful and more than a little vulnerable as we openly marveled at how the others' pictures and words spoke to each of us as well.
There were beautifully muscled bodies, handsome beards, hot technology, fancy and hard working vehicles and heavenly boats among the many inspiring words drawn from beautiful pages and creative headlines.
There were also quite a few sparkling time pieces that we cut out and admired. For some reason we pushed them around the table, passing them over in favor of other images that spoke more directly to our plans.
And this is where it got real.
My son, who smiles easily and is great at sliding you a look or a play on words to lighten up any situation, laid out a very powerful insight on why these collectors quality timepieces absolutely belonged in the mix.
He pointed out that these sparkling, beautifully crafted art pieces showcase that time is our most precious commodity. They remind him to spend every moment moving forward and being his very best self because every single moment is precious. He looked over the table with our piles of ideas and goals and observed how powerful a constant choice to create time to become these amazing versions of ourselves will be to our collective success.
And there it was - I don't think I will EVER lose sight of it again. Whether or not we wear a watch, we get to choose to invest our precious time being the best versions of ourselves to give more to our families, our communities and our businesses. A bold statement reminding me to spend time where it's most important and appreciate every single choice absolutely belonged in this vision for my life, and perhaps on my wrist.
Now you too get to savor this "Couture quality inspiration" every time you glance at the time. Perhaps put on that watch, what ever keeps you thinking about what's most important.. Why waste a single second on fear or playing small? Your moments are much too precious!
Reflecting and appreciating a big 2015 win - huge love for my messy & awkward...
My trainer teaches me so much more than simply how to get my workout done.
He teaches me what to do consistently to remain strong at my core no matter what slippery situations I encounter. What to hold in, how to breathe and where to focus during each movement to come through solidly where I belong.All the while, he feeds my brain with science and my heart with encouragement and stories of others who learned what I'm learning and built on that skill to live more fully.
The workouts change regularly too. He keeps challenging me to learn new skills while expanding my capacity for humility as I get to experience awkward again and again.
There is power in this awkward. The awkward moments get longer as the skill levels increase at the same time the confidence is less elusive as I learn to trust my ability to struggle and sweat and come out on the other side stronger and leaner and more flexible.
I am learning to listen to those that can teach me things well outside my comfort zone because it's this practice that shows me how to feel alive and connected and worthy and prepared to land solidly on my feet with my center exactly where it belongs - regardless of the circumstance.
The beautiful surprise about my training is that I show up prepared to sweat and be frustrated and feel beat up and alive and challenged and stretched beyond what I could do yesterday - and that feels amazing.It feels great to push and stretch and sweat and fail and fail and almost.... fail and then succeed because I know to trust the teacher and trust my mind and my body and I trust my ability to be coached because I get to see my strength grow the more I participate.I love how this practice has become a sweaty, stinky, messy, inspiring, empowering and mind blowing building block to make me stronger and fill my cup with humility and confidence that I get to pour into every single day.
The strength and the confidence are amazing but they share space with emerging gentleness. A less frustrated version of me that I enjoy being around. She's creative and smart and fun and I can count on her to show up, work hard, get sweaty and figure it out.
WIN - huge love for my messy & awkward self... She ROCKS!!