Leadership and Mowing the Lawn....
I don't know about you but, as a leader, I LOVE TO MOW THE LAWN! As I think back, I always have. I remember clearly when my mom gave that job to ME!! I was even more ecstatic that my younger brother was so allergic to grass so I got to KEEP that job. WHY? A couple thoughts....and I suspect you might love it too....
COMPLETE CREATIVE AUTONOMY. My lawn is an open palette to make a choice and be creative. Not feeling it today....straight lines. Feeling saucy....let's zig zag. Have some time...let's make it look like Fenway's outfield (they do a new design before every home game..Go SOX!). Really out there...spell my kids names before I finish for rockstar Dad approval. When are the possibilities so ENDLESS in the real world?? Oh..and when do you get to make ALL the decisions, not be concerned with the bottom line, or worry about how someone feels...never. In the open lawn, it is just you, 4.5 HP of push mower, and the freedom of having a place to do something for you!!
ALONE TIME. Leaders don't get alone time. Our phones, emails, twitter, kids, spouses, and partners need us to talk, make decisions, meet for coffee, change diapers, and change the world. On the lawn, it is just you and the blades calling your name for a trim. The engine drowns out everything around you. Your focus is on placing that front wheel with the line you created before it to ensure every blade is cut with mastery. Your energy is in ONE PLACE, at ONE TIME, with ONE PERSON on ONE THING.
When you are DONE...YOU ARE DONE!! In our leadership world, when is work actually DONE? Never. There is ALWAYS something to do. Complete a project...let's evaluate. Finish an event...what can we do better. Mow the lawn?? Step away and revel in your work from the driveway, from the street, or from the window above and IMMEDIATELY enjoy the riches of your work and the fruits of your labor!!
Congrats!! You have completed SOMETHING and damn...it looks GOOD!! Crack open your favorite beverage, kick off your green stained shoes, and take a moment before heading back to the reality of life.
Oh...and have solace in knowing that you and the open lawn will meet again soon....so you can once again have the opportunity for AUTONOMOUS ALONE TIME to COMPLETE a JOB WELL DONE!!
Thanks for stopping by. These are musings on how I see leadership in the world and how I continue to try and grow through my lens.