TipsThe Autumn Equinox, which is the official start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, is Friday September 22nd. While this season looks different depending on where you live, there is a general shift in thought and behavior. We tend to breathe a sigh of relief about making it this far into the year, get a little more reflective, and have a stronger determination to make these three months before the big holiday season effective for us professionally and personally.
If you’re a leader who believes you should be “always growing”(based on my book by the same name), I think there are several things you should be doing to ensure that you don’t lose one minute in this current “growing season” to get the results you want for yourself and your team. This includes opportunities to:
Celebrate the harvest.
Take time to remind your people of the outcomes of their hard work so far this year. Reflect on any growth between January 1 and today. Even if you don’t have numbers to celebrate, highlight how you have seen your team work together more cohesively or weather adversity. If you really want to celebrate the harvest, make a list of all of your team members and determine how you have seen them grow this year. And watch their face brighten like an autumn moon when you tell them what you’ve noticed.
Plant your fall crops.
Unless you live in northern Minnesota (where it’s probably already snowing), there’s still enough warmth, moisture, and daylight to grow something in the next couple of months. My daughter and I planted our greens, turnips, and kale this past weekend.
There’s still time this year to accomplish more goals with your team. Think about the resources available to you now that may soon be lost. Spend time talking with your team about what you’d like to see grown by the end of the year, and ask them what new or additional resources they need from you to make these ideas grow into reality.
Spice up your motivation.
Fall means spice, particularly pumpkin spice. I am flummoxed by the range of items you can purchase with the hint of fall, including the Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut (only on September 8). We connect with these items because they are new, different, and available for a limited time. Could the same be said for some of the ways you seek to motivate your team? What are some fresh strategies you could use to connect with them on a deeper level, find out what really gets them engaged, and encourage them to bring their best selves to work every day?
Find some “would” for the winter.
Even though we’re still in the growing season, astute gardeners know they will soon need to shift their focus toward planning for next year’s crops. That includes reflecting on what worked this year, thinking about new things to grow, and most importantly, talking with other gardeners about their successes and failures.
Who “would” it be helpful for you to have a conversation with to spark new ideas or talk about ways to improve your team… or yourself as a new year approaches? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you developed a long list of ideas, used your winter season to work out the details, and then took action once conditions were more favorable? Now that’s thinking like a true gardener.
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