Well, maybe not EVERYTHING – but a lot!
I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share. This means I take on some of the farmer’s risk. I pay for the promise of so many fruits and vegetables for the season. Sometimes it’s a bumper crop and sometimes bust. If s/he is a good farmer (leader/manager) with consistent methods (tools and processes), the unpredictable part of the equation is the weather (environment). There are different ways to address non-ideal weather conditions to minimize the impact on the crops. And sometimes there is only so much you can do.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Connecticut so I took off early and went to pick up the first share of the season. Some of the crops are in bins and some we have to go out in the field to pick. Yesterday I went out in the strawberry field to pick two luscious quarts.
Here is what I noticed… There was an abundance of just ripe strawberries bursting with juice and color. There were very few that had turned past their prime. And there were a lot that were still white or early in the growing season.
Here are my learnings that translate to business and leadership:
- When crops get what they need by way of support and resources (rich soil, water, sun, right temperatures, and weeded early and often), they thrive.
Some people thrive in certain environments and fail in others. Most people thrive when they do what they love and are good at it, and they have the right kind of coaching, support and recognition.
- Get in early to harvest the good stuff.
There is no need to focus on what is not ripe (lack) when there is so much abundant all around if we just look. Sometimes we don’t need to look too far but pay attention to what is right under our nose. I was able to fill up two quarts only by reaching within an arm’s radius. Like life, it’s too easy to focus on what needs fixing versus leveraging what is a strength or working. Nothing and nobody is perfect.
- Next to mature, ready crop you can have crop just at the beginning of development.
This is like people – they can be uneven in their skillset. It’s best to focus on their strengths and take time to nurture their development.
- Be grateful for such a wonderful crop, despite all the crazy weather.
People can be unpredictable as can the business environment. Recognize what is within your control to effect and what isn’t. When the economy is strong, get in early and boldly with new products, services and ideas. Be grateful for the breaks you have as there is also some grace (or luck) involved.
- Enjoy the process of picking and eating the harvest! Celebrate!
It’s so important to celebrate wins large and small as that energy and mindset builds on itself. I have found in my career that this is not practiced enough – pausing long enough to really enjoy the hard work and accomplishments. Enjoy the juicy, yummy parts too!
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