Northern California is a blissful place to live much of the year, and I especially love the turn from winter to spring. Our annual late winter "snow" is the blanketing of blossoms under fruit trees. In our yard, we have an ornamental plum tree, which obliges us by dropping its white petals into small drifts in the yard. Unlike snow, these blossoms manage their own disappearance, usually within a week or so. Then the rich greenery buds on the trees, and the early spring flowers poke their heads up through the mud. (OK, through the dry, cracking soil of our ongoing drought. We could use more rain, for those of you that can influence Mother Nature!)
What, you might ask, does welcoming spring have to do with your leadership?
After the long, dark, cold winter, it’s human nature to emerge from our cocooned, more internally focused rhythm of life. Spring arrives bringing daylight, greenery and a natural focus on rebirth and renewal, as our traditional springtime holidays remind us.
In our modern lives, filled with artificial light and concrete, wood, and steel dwellings, we easily get disconnected from our natural cycles and rhythms – and it’s helpful to intentionally reconnect. This is surely top of mind for me after returning from 5 lovely days up in Mendocino - sea, sky, flowers, animals and lots of time outdoors enjoying all of those!
So let’s welcome that renewal vibe, and think about how to bring that breath of fresh air into your work and your life. What will put the spring back in your step, and the lilt in your leadership?
Here are three tips to try:
Take a walk outdoors, without your phone, and on your own. Choose a color, and look for everything you can see of that color. Give it five minutes - you may be amazed at what you notice! Bring that fresh perspective back into your conversations with your team members.
I recently attended a health seminar, where one of the speakers shared research results studying starting one’s day with 15 minutes of sunlight (not mediated through window glass, though). Turns out this is highly correlated with both increased energy during the day and better sleep at night. It’s free, it’s fast and you don’t need special shoes.
If the sight of all the new piglets, lambs and ducklings doesn’t lift your energy, head to a farmer’s market and take in the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits of the season.
Once you’ve replenished your spirit a bit and are feeling that lighter step, bring it back to your family and your colleagues.
As you may recall from an earlier article, our emotions are contagious – they spread through mirror neurons. So make a point to spread your positive emotions with the important people in your life, at home, at work, and in your community.
What leadership challenges are you facing in 2022? Let me know which topics you’d like me to cover in future blog posts!