LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM MOWING THE LAWN

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I have had more things hit me while mowing the lawn than you can imagine. And by things I don’t mean bugs, grass, snakes, dirt clumps, bees, animal poop, pebbles, and various other projectiles that the mower or Mother Nature decide to send my way. All those things do hit me. However, I am now referring to much more important things such as ideas, insights, perspectives, and directions.

There is something about mowing the lawn that predisposes my mind and my soul to go into a meditative, calm state. Mowing the lawn requires some effort and skill, but not nearly enough to absorb 100% of my cranial capacity. Therefore, I always find that it provides a perfect time to zone out and focus in. I am far enough removed from my routine tasks, duties, and responsibilities that I can subconsciously approach them differently. Some of my best ideas, insights, perspectives, and directions have come to me while I was mowing the lawn. That leads to my first LLML (leadership lessons from mowing the lawn):

Find a place to reflect.

Every leader who is genuinely concerned with his or her leadership quality absolutely knows that personal and professional growth is a nonnegotiable. We as leaders must always be growing. Failing to grow translates to retreat. When you stand still, everything else will leave you in its wake. That is not a good place to be.

Regardless of whether it is mowing the lawn, running laps, taking a drive, going on a sabbatical, or staring at the night’s stars, we must create those places in which we can reflect on what we are doing, why we are doing it, how we are doing it, and whether we can do it better. That place will be different for you than it is for me or a colleague or a friend. LLML Number 1 simply affirms that we find that place to reflect.

As leaders, we can sometimes be so hard-charging that we forget to reassess how much value we are adding. It is in those times of reflection that we just might experience a revelation. And that revelation can be the most important moment of your day, week, year, or even your life. LLML Number 1:

Find a place to reflect.


About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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