Most of the leaves are gold…or yellow…or red. They are starting to fall and soon the trees will be bare. We haven’t had a freeze yet, but it won’t be long. The long gray lifeless days of winter are just around the corner. It will be time to bundle up, hunker down, and try to stay warm while waiting for spring…when life returns. And, it will.
Organizations experience winter also. Sales slump. Attendance falls. Employees are grumpy. It is dark when you show up—still dark when you leave.
It is easy to lapse into “going through the motions” during winter. Easy to procrastinate. Easy to stare out the window or sit by the fire with a cup of coffee waiting for warmer days. That is the easy way to get through the winter. But it is not the way of effective leaders. Effective leaders apply the principle of don’t lose a day and use the winter to get ready for spring instead of waiting for spring.
Winter is a great time to plan. I mean really plan—in detail!
Winter is a great time to repair. That is what farmers do. They get the plow and tractor in tip top shape for planting in the spring. What in your organization needs to be repaired?
Winter is a great time to refocus. Make sure you have a clear purpose, values, vision, etc., and make sure they are well communicated.
Winter is a great time to rest. Yes, rest. Nourishing your body, soul and spirit is actually great preparation for the hard tasks of spring. But don’t let the need to rest become an excuse for doing nothing.
Decide today this is going to be the best winter ever for you and for your organization. But do more than decide—be specific. Make a list of ten things you are going to get done between now and March 31st. Ten things that will have you ready to go when those warm spring days come.
Don’t waste a day! Even during the winter.
[Monday, November 1st is the last day to register for the November 5th Hard Lessons Workshop. Register at hard-lessons.com.]
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
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