05 June 2010

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush: A new perspective

Today I picked mulberries for the first time since I was a teenager. Growing up on a farm, my life knew many facets of gardening and farming. One was picking our produce and eating from the bounty of God's earth throughout the entire year. As I was picking today, I recalled the hours my Mom and I would spend around berry bushes - mulberry, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry - you name it, we picked it. And, I remembered the bugs. The bugs were so annoying, and often the bane of berry-picking for me back then. Today, they were not my focus. As I was picking today, I circled the mulberry bushes in a counter-clockwise fashion. I did this with all three bushes available to me and found as I went, that I felt pretty confident I was picking all the ripe ones I could find. At some point, without consciously deciding, I began to circle in the opposite direction; and it became quickly apparent how many ripe berries I had missed. There were so many more, ready for harvest!

I immediately thought of the art of leading. Along with being a leader comes so many levels of impact. I've been in leadership roles for nearly as long as I can remember. It was simply expected of me as a kid, and I grew up learning how to make myself available in that way. Today, I remembered how important perspective is in leadership. Circling back through those mulberry bushes - finding all these "new" berries - it took this new perspective to find the ready harvest! That is just like leading people. One of the greatest gifts of relationship is being open to another's perspective. Leading is facilitating the artform of perspective. Gently nudging and challenging others to shift their lens on life.

I love the energy leading gives me! I love facilitating another's openmindedness - helping them find the gifts and talents God has given them and resourcing them to give 150% to that. Working in my strengths to advise and influence others in their strengths; it really all comes down to that for me.