Touring a garden recently with a master gardener (My Mom) and these words kept coming out of her mouth – they love it here. At the nursery last week, another seasoned gardener talked about healthy places for certain trees. Both of these experts taught me the same lesson, to always look for vibrant signs of health – growth, healthy color, and a full look. Life through the eyes of a gardener gave me a different view of the world around me.
It hit me that same view can be taken with people. That place where we are comfortable, happy, challenged, and energized is a great place to be. What words would you use to describe yourself in that spot?
This is our sweet spot. The ultimate trick is not knowing how to find this spot, but how to realize when we get there and how to return to it.
Some leaders can see it, just like the master gardeners can see when a plant is in the optimal spot for growth and performance. Most of us need help from people to tell us where that spot is, and maybe a little more help to stay on track making the moves necessary for all people on our team to be in their sweet spot. Imagine if we could coach our team so each individual knew where that spot was for themselves, and were driven to continually improve and increase their understanding of their own sweet spot?
Maturity is simply the knowledge to know where your spot is, the patience to work toward it, and the ability to make the shifts to perform at a high level even if you are not in the exact sweet spot. Mature does not equal old, it just means wise.
Leaders need to know their own sweet spot and surround themselves with people who can handle the critical work outside of that spot. Great leaders also know how to develop the wisdom in others to replicate that sweet spot for themselves at all levels of the organization. Imagine being surrounded by a dozen people who feel energized, creative, confident, collaborative, and positive? Even an amateur gardener like me could spot that team.
There is nothing better than to watch your kids, your friends, your team, or yourself perform in that sweet spot!
Anybody told you lately, “I can tell that you like it here…”? If not, it is time to get to work finding it.
Three great resources to help your thinking:
- Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
- Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the voice of vocation by Parker Palmer
- Own It! 5 Tips for Managing Your Career and Performance by Scott Patchin (Kindle edition = .99¢)
Master gardeners don’t just work with plants.
Lead well . . .