By Jim Maguire, Leadership Coach, Trainer, NLP Master Practitioner and Mediator.
In previous blogs on my website I have spoken about listening, pausing and watching things grow and as we enter week 10 of lockdown it feels like I’ve done an awful lot of all three.
For instance, in the last couple of months, Zoom has grown from being an ice lolly from childhood, to an online platform where we can all video chat, attend webinars (and deliver them). The new normal of working from home means the days merge, weekends and evening are now just as productive as any other time. Embracing and growing into the flexibility of working when we get the inspiration has become second nature.
The new way of working has had its challenges and amazing opportunities. Daily exercise has provided much needed routine especially as the commute is shorter than it has ever been. My daily walk has replaced a lunchtime coffee shop ponder and provided me with the time and space to pause, make plans and look for new opportunities.
On one walk I was thinking about growth and growing as I passed a Damson Tree in blossom. Over the weeks I noticed a change and each time I’d gone by the tree had grown and transformed just a little. The tree’s initial job to inspire and attract the best, most talented workers to pollinate the flowers is transforming. The coming transformation will see the fruit grow and hopefully thrive. This is when, with help from a tree surgeon, a tree will maintain this growth. A great Tree Surgeon will work with the tree providing the right conditions, nutrients, light and shade for them to develop and grow. This in turn enables the tree to create an environment for the fruit to develop. After a short period of time some of the fruit will have been picked and will go on to produce great trees themselves. Other fruit will stay around the tree and help it to be more resilient for the future.
I am wondering can we look at a leader and a coach in the same way as we look at the tree and tree surgeon? Read this again, I’ve only changed a few words.
The Leaders initial job to inspire and attract the best, most talented workers to pollinate the company, is transforming. The coming phase will see the business grow and thrive. This is when, with help from a Coach, a successful Leader will maintain this growth. A great Coach will work with the Leader providing the right conditions, nutrients, light and shade for them to develop and grow. This in turn enables the Leader to create an environment for the staff to develop and the business to thrive. After a short period of time some of the staff will have been picked and will go on to be great Leaders themselves. Other staff will stay around the Leader and help the business to be more resilient for the future.