As a child, fall meant harvest time. My parents grew up in farming families and so it seemed natural to them that we should grow and preserve at least some of our own food.
We plant our values in our children and realize the harvest when they mature into adults.
As our family worked to harvest vegetables from the gardens on our acreage in the country, the farmers around us worked to harvest thousands of Iowa acres of corn and soybeans. Continue reading
The ancient myth held that swans are mute but sing a beautiful song just before dying.
The swan’s song of sorrow signals the end of a beautiful relationship.
A swan song is meant to signify a bittersweet recap of a long and glorious relationship that is now ending. Continue reading
A former boss of mine used to listen to our inputs, and then at some point, she’d make a decision. “This is what I want you to do,” she’d say. When the choice was not clear cut, she might say, “Let’s try it and see what happens. We won’t know if it will work or not unless we try.”
Whether your goal is as high as the moon or something you can accomplish before lunch, you will only reach it by pleasing yourself.
She wasn’t afraid to make a decision, or to change her decision when additional facts came to light. Her decisions were pragmatic, efficient and clear. Even if they were not always right.
What she did not do was expect us to vote or to debate until consensus was reached. Voting would have only served to create a win/lose scenario and give those on the losing side the opportunity to walk away from any commitment to implement the actions necessary for success. Too often consensus deteriorates into a process of making sure everyone gets a little of what they want, without regard to whether the actions will at all address the problem they were intended to address or whether the results are likely to yield the desired outcome. (If you want proof of this, look no farther than the U.S. Congress.)
We can’t run our business or lead our team by consensus. It doesn’t work. We also can’t live our life by consensus, by doing whatever the people near us tell us to do about how to live our life. Continue reading