Last week, I was taking a break from work and decided to water the garden. I find it both therapeutic and life-giving. It calms me while at the same time our garden slowly becomes a beautiful place to relax in.
Although the temperature was not the most ideal (we’ve had our version of winter), the serenity was much welcome. Despite the cold, it was bone dry both conditions conducive for colds and coughs. As I watered the flowers and grass, the dust settled somewhat.
Then a series of chirps caught my attention. This was quickly followed by a flurry of feathers that stirred me from my reverie. A beautiful hummingbird had joined my company of one. It had been attracted by the soft shower from my water sprinkler and it started to bath in it. The more it bathed, the more its chirping increased. The bird sounded very happy indeed.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
As I was transfixed on its theatrics, I had the opportunity to draw three lessons that we can all apply to leadership.
Open invitation – Leadership doesn’t wait for a ceremony [TweetMe]. It is an open invitation that we can all respond to. However, you will need to be ready to send your RSVP to that invitation. Commitment can’t be avoided. Once you commit, you have to be accountable to those you choose to lead. An invitation to lead is outbound, it involves people. It is a call to serve.
The hummingbird did not wait for me to ask it for an RSVP. The shower was a good invitation and it honored me with a wonderful display and great company.
Ask for help – Sometimes, I can be remain in ‘stuck mode’ with something I’m struggling with. I feel afraid to ask for help as it may be perceived to be a sign of weakness. I should know better, but the reality is that I’m human. But the one thing I have done it is to open to lessons and challenges at all times.
Taking leadership is being open to ask for help [TweetMe]. It’s good on your heart too. As I open up to receive help, I get to share the tension and anxiety with someone else. They may inspire or encourage me, and may have the solution too!
It was clear that the hummingbird had gone without a good ‘shower’ for a few days. But she wasn’t afraid to reach out to me and become vulnerable.
Savor the moment – Take a break and appreciate those you lead everyday [TweetMe]. As John C. Maxwell repeatedly reminds us, “Leadership happens daily, not in a day.” The hummingbird sure did chirp away. It wasn’t ashamed to show its pleasure in that moment. We can get so lost into character [leader] that we forget that we are leading people, not machines.
As a leader, it is okay to ‘let your hair down’ and be one with your followers; understand, appreciate and inspire them… in the moment.
How are you staying relevant as a leader?
photo credit: stilltheguy via photopin cc