Habits from the Garden

| March 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

I operate in a very seasonal way, spending some of my time think about the upcoming season. My grandparents had a farm in Virginia, a place where I learned many valuable lessons and fine-tuned habits that have served me well. Some of you know that I garden – vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit trees. Growing things provides a plethora of metaphors for managing and leading; that list being too long for a blog. I would, however, like to provide a few habits that I have found useful.

Tip #1. Keep notes on what worked last year. If you don’t write it down you cannot be sure that you will remember that particular yellow squash that just did not produce. That’s what I love about well-run post-mortems after a project. The learnings are invaluable. That same discipline should be used in every aspect of our businesses. What worked, what did not work, what should we do differently next time? No one wants to experience a repeat of last season’s problems.

Tip #2. Develop a list of pre-season preparation activities. Well before the snow has melted I begin the planning process. What can I do in March that will make May planting that much easier? What can you or your team work on that will ready you for the last minute deliverable or new client? The only way I know how to make sure I deliver to my clients in June is to work on the project well in advance. It allows for greater ability to deal with the ‘fires’ that invariably occur.

Tip #3. Develop a vision list. What new seeds do I want to try? Are there better ways to control the rabbits? Are there new varieties of raspberries that can handle the harsh Colorado winters up against the foothills? A vision list requires both dreams and research. What is your vision for continuing to grow and improve your company? I am not referring to the formal vision process, I am talking about ideas and thoughts that are written on a napkin during those times you have the luxury of daydreaming.

These are just a few of the applicable tips I have found to be advantageous. There are certainly many more. I would, as always, like to hear about yours; please feel free to drop me a note.

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Category: Blog, Decision Making, Leadership

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About the Author ()

Julia Hill-Nichols, SPHR, is the founder of LeadersCove, LLC. With over 30 years experience in operations and human capital management, Julia is gifted in the art and science of bridging strategic imperatives and a company’s human capabilities—executing for success, meeting bottom-line objectives and enlivening the people who are the organization’s lifeblood.

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