There are flowers blooming all around us at the moment so I had a thought. (Always dangerous!). We can’t make a flower; but we can create the conditions in which a flower will grow. We can cultivate the soil, provide water, air, and sunlight and over time, the flower will grow and bloom. Strong and effective leadership is like a flower; we can’t make it, but we can create the conditions in which it will develop.
We begin by cultivating the soil, entering into self-reflection and dialogue that results in greater self-awareness and self-management and an increased capacity to engage and inspire others. We create the atmosphere for developing leadership by seeking opportunities to learn and practice a new mindset and skill set for leadership. When we enter into the ongoing practice of leadership, we are on a path. While we are on the path, our leadership will develop. When we stop or leave the path, our leadership will suffer and so will those around us.
A final thought… As much as we might want to rush a flower, it will bloom in it’s own time. If we try and take a pair of pliers and force it open, it dies. People on the path of leadership will develop in their own way and in their own time. But just by being on the path, they are miles ahead of most of the folks around them. You can always spot the flowers amongst the weeds.