Are leaders grown, or born?
May 28th, 2019
Digging around in the garden today I had the epiphany that leadership development is really quite similar to gardening.
First, before you even start trying to develop (nurture) the leader (daisy), you want to prepare the culture (soil) so that it’s filled with support/nutrients, so that growth is possible.
Then, you take a look at the group of responsible leaders (healthy sprouts) and select (plant) those that look to have the highest potential.
Water, feed, weed, repeat…
My point is that just as with gardening, leadership development is as much about nurturing the environment/culture (soil) as it is about training, incentives and/or bonuses. Maybe even more so.
Brené Brown has lately been translating her wonderful work in the field of vulnerability and resilience into the world of work. She describes a leader as “someone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential.”
Her three tips for being better leaders:
- EMBRACE THE SUCK. YOU CAN’T GET TO COURAGE WITHOUT RUMBLING WITH VULNERABILITY.
- WHO WE ARE IS HOW WE LEAD. SELF-AWARENESS AND SELF-LOVE MATTER.
- COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS. (click here and then scroll down to the “Cultivating Connection” section for her detailed explanation).
All this requires the creation of a safe space. A culture where mistakes are not punished but rather celebrated as another ‘learning milestone’, to be acknowledged and shared with others.
Frederick Laloux, author of Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness, makes the case that humans, as a species, are headed towards work cultures that are grounded in the creation of “…soulful workplaces—schools, hospitals, businesses, and nonprofits—where our talents can blossom and our callings can be honored.” Soulful workplaces. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
He also said “an organization cannot evolve beyond its leadership’s stage of development.”
So, please, tend to your gardens, both at home and at work. And then enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Here if you want to talk,