I was stunned.
It was early morning when I stepped outside to fill our Japanese Koi pond. The hot days and wind evaporate the water level. While busy doing my chores and feeding the fish — it happened.
Unexpectedly, at first, just out of the corner of my eye. Then, I stopped and just looked. The sun was up, but still rising. The clouds were patches of gray, white, and sunrise orange. The sky was blue, light blue, vibrant blue. And the moon was half present at high noon unwilling to yield the stage entirely. The grandeur of the sky captured my attention while quietly my life grew bigger. I became smaller, as did my fears, concerns, and cares.
Lost in awe?
When you feel reverential respect along with wonder, you’re in awe. Humility, gratitude, appreciation, and inspiration are all fruit of being awed.
It happens when your focus is outside yourself. When you focus on others; to serve, care, help — seeing the people.
What do you see?
Ask an HR professional, business owner, or manager what’s their biggest challenge and what do you hear? Most often, I hear, “It’s the people. Why can’t people just show up and do the job?”
What do you see when you look at your employees or team members? Do you observe people or have a “pain in your seat?” Do you assume they’re out to get you? Take advantage of you? Get by with doing as little as possible? Why do you think that? If it’s true, what got you here?
Another option is to see the opportunity to serve and develop your employees into self-managed teams and leaders. The choice is yours.
Speaking of your “greatest asset” consider my growing list of observations regarding “The People Project” —
1. The business of business is people
No matter what your product or service, it’s about the people. Get the right people in alignment with goals, functions, and priorities and enjoy the ride!
2. Business eats people
No judgment on business, it’s just the nature of Business is to take, create, deliver, and want more. As a leader, you’re responsible for how much you feed the beast and how much you require your employees/team to give.
3. People don’t think
Consider the response following an incident, “Boss, I didn’t think that would happen.” When emotionally driven we do the unthinkable; “Creating Space to Think” is a powerful discipline.
4. People need help being successful people
“Self-made,” really? Re-visit your Story and acknowledge the individuals who have influenced your life. Who are you helping make the journey to future success?
5. It takes mature people to develop mature people
Deep breath. What behaviors do you let slide? What does it look like if your employees/team imitate you?
6. Take care of the people and the people will take care of the business
Invest in the growth and development of your people and be amazed at what happens. Minimize them to being “cogs” in your pursuit of “success” and watch their disengagement as it limits everyone’s productivity.
7. If you take care of the people and the don’t take care of the business, they’re not your people
Set clear expectations with effective communication and accountability to support self-managed and high performing teams. Then, employees self-select to move on, making a talent upgrade possible.
Create Space to Think
That morning I was so busy doing the tasks I almost missed lifting my eyes to experience the awe of seeing the morning sky.
Here are some questions for your personal reflection:
- When was the last time you stopped in your tracks to see a sunrise or sunset; a flower feeding a bumblebee or monarch butterfly?
- When were last rejuvenated, restored, revived because you lifted your eyes off of the problem(s) onto the possibilities filled with awe and wonder that you’re alive on this planet with a mission and purpose?
- How will you change your today’s experience? What if you get up from your desk more? When could you step outside for a few minutes? What if you start getting out of the office for lunch?
- And the big question: How well do you see the people? Life is fast-paced, chaotic, filled with distractions and noise. How will you slow down to create space to think, breathe, notice, and engage? Yes, to connect with others because without connection we’re less human.
Here’s to your stop-you-in-your-tracks moments today. See the people.
Image Source: Upsplash