Last Saturday morning, I volunteered for the Keep America Beautiful Great American Clean-up. Walking along a local watershed, picking up trash with friends new and old, I was struck by the power of the spring reset, connecting with folks, and tidying up. It got me thinking about the value of harnessing these ideas for leaders.
Spring is filled with rituals of the changing season, from festive celebrations to planting and pruning. Perhaps, experts say, the arrival of spring can serve as a natural point to take stock of our mental well-being and reconnect with the things that bring us purpose and joy—offering our minds a fresh perspective.
And yet, the pandemic continues. But after living in survival mode for the last two years, some are ready to welcome an era of the “new normal.” Though that doesn’t mean our minds are at ease.
According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, the three most significant sources of stress among folks in the US right are inflation, supply chain issues, and the ripple effects of Russia’s war with Ukraine. No wonder it can feel hard to embrace change and new growth even in this season of renewal.
Mindset is by choice, not by chance.
There’s good news: you always have a choice, according to Dr. Paul Napper, a psychology consultant to business leaders and co-author of “The Power of Agency: The 7 Principles to Conquer Obstacles, Make Effective Decisions, and Create a Life on Your Own Terms.”
As many return to the office for the first time in two years, it’s a great time to spring clean our minds and our teams. The value of spring cleaning isn’t just in getting rid––it’s also about making space for what’s really important.
The same goes for leadership! Avoiding the trap of the “tyranny of the present” is a persistent leadership challenge, made worse by our increasingly distracted world. Leaders who see themselves as the Chief Visionary Officer for their organizations (nonprofit, private sector, or government) possess an inherent strategic advantage.
The New Beginning spring offers is the perfect time to consider the dusty old practices that just don’t fit anymore. In her “living as a leader blog,” Steph Collins offers leaders four new tips to focus this seasonal shift on what’s really important.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is both possible and critical to be a force for good in times of disorder and chaos. I’m loving Henna Inam’s book Wired For Disruption. Published in 2020, it’s timely and relevant. She offers 15 accelerators (specific tools and practices) to re-imagine, re-invent, and re-invigorate – to create something better.
We have many collective problems to solve for a thriving planet that works better for all. Henna’s book is inspiring me to activate that embedded agility that resides within us all. If you read her book and want to chat about it, let me know!
Spring cleaning and your board of directors
Dust off the cobwebs and reinvigorate your board with these tips!
Walking along the creek, stepping one foot in front of the other, and tidying up with others ignited a chain of positivity within me, reminding me that this season is an invitation to kindle the step-change in our ability to grow ourselves and others for good.
Create a chain of positivity, friends! Seize the season, tidy up, and help your teams, boards, and yourself thrive.