Recently I caught up with a group of friends from my university days. It was great fun to hear all about what people were up to after so many years.
One of my friends was describing how her new weekend farming life had captured the interest of her team at her city legal office. So much so that, not long ago, her whole team had volunteered to help out with planting the latest vegetable crop.
“We had a great weekend” she told us. “Some teams might go away to the country for ‘Planning days’ but my team went away for a ‘Planting day’.”
Afterwards, the more I thought about the concept, the more I liked the analogy.
As a leadership specialist, I am often asked to facilitate Strategic and Team Planning events and I can’t think of a better way to describe their purpose than planting seeds for the future.
Planning days aren’t magic wands that fix all your problems. But they do plant the seeds that can be nurtured into your ideal outcomes over time.
If you are fortunate (and your planning event is well facilitated) you may secure agreement on the day from all team members about some of the fundamentals: your team vision and values, how your team roles relate to your organizational mission or purpose, and the essential actions and strategies that will ensure you deliver results.
But any team gathering also offers an opportunity to foster understanding and develop a strong team culture – which takes much longer than a day to achieve. Yet you can plant the seeds for a team that works well together even in difficult times, that supports and respects other team members, that shows initiative and embraces change. And over time these outcomes may be even more powerful than the traditional outcomes of Strategic or Team Planning events.
As with any seeds, planting them is not enough. They have to be nurtured, fed and watered over time before they grow to their full potential. And that is your primary role back in the office as leader of the team.
The nurturing of those powerful seeds of success over time needs to be attended to daily and weekly – in fact every time you interact or meet with your team.
This consistent follow-up to any annual Strategic or Team Planning event can be even more critical than the event itself. In it lies one of the secrets of all successful leaders.
Kind regards, Kerrie
PS. If you are wondering HOW to nurture the seeds of your team’s success, watch out for details about my Leadership Coaching Club, coming soon. If you want to be among the first to know all the details, register at http://leadershipcoachingclub.com and be confident of catching our special launch discount or bonuses.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“Our great business in life is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
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