Friday, May 11, 2012

Everything Grows...

Everything grows when it rains.

In nature, in order for things to grow, there must be rain.  As I drove past a field that had been scorched a year ago during a wild fire, there is a lush green field now.  As a leader, we are always challenged to take negative situations and turn them into a positive.  If we find ourselves in situations where we have been burned, we need to look for the opportunity to grow again.

Rain can take many forms.  Rain in this discussion is centered more about the decisions we make in the workplace.  All of us at one time or another have made a poor or ill advised decision in the workplace.  It happens to everyone.  We find ourselves in situations that we often aren't thinking clearly, and as a result, end up in a place that we didn't intend to be.

Do you have a reliable weather forecaster, a professional mentor that can guide you through your individual rainstorms?  These mentors are in the places that you least expect them to be and usually the person that you least expect them to be.  Your weather forecaster is someone that you trust to evaluate situations after the fact, and assist you in growing and maturing to not have another negative experience.  They are there to equip you to weather the daily storms that each person encounters.
When looking at rainy periods, it is important for you to understand how the rain developed.  Most of the time it was not El Nino or La Nina, but a series of events that led to a personal setback.  How you weather the storm will determine how sunny the future will be.  At this time, it is critical to spend a few minutes with your weather forecaster, look at the maps (how the situation came from point A to point B) to understand how the series of decisions led to the outcome that occurred.  The growing piece is gaining an understanding of how to avoid bad decisions and make better decisions in the future. 

I had the privilege to attend a panel discussion of senior leaders this week who spoke of having a mentor.  Mentors who would shoot straight with them and encourage them as they developed in their careers.  These mentors are your weather forecasters, the have been there, done that, and earned a t-shirt for the efforts.  Listen to what your forecasters have to say and they will guide you through the juggernaut that is your professional career.  You will have many forecasters throughout your life.  If you tune them out, you will continue to be bitter and scorched, you will never grow.  However, if you reflect on the feedback given to you, and incorporate the feedback to your particular situation, your decisions will be stronger and more decisive as you become more experienced. 

Pay it forward.  Become a forecaster for others and look for opportunities to share your experiences with those who are a little green so that they are able to grow and mature.

In my career, to quote a James Taylor song, "I've seen Fire and I've seen Rain.  I've seen Sunny days that I thought would never end."  Rain is not always bad, and sun is not always good.  The sunny days always follow the rainy days.  Use those sunny days to grow and mature and I guarantee you will have more sun than rain.  Trust your forecaster to guide you.  Don't take anything or anyone for granted.

Have a great weekend!

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