Lent began last Wednesday. I still vividly remember my most unique Lenten memory when I was 17 years old. Our high school youth group accepted a challenge put forth by our pastor, Father Ashwell. He said, “Instead of giving up something this year, let’s try doing something as a group.” He handed all of us (about 30 teenagers) an actual thorn with a pin and challenged us to wear the pin for the entire 40 days of Lent as a sign of of our faith. The thorn signified the crown of thorns.
We all started out with a full thorn – some were larger and more prickly than others. We’d all show up at our public school with a thorn attached to our clothes, which forced us to explain this oddity. While that was part of the process, the more significant one started next. All of us at some point forgot our thorn at home, showing up to school thorn-less. Quickly one of us would help that person out by breaking off a piece of our thorn and giving it to them. As the forty days processes, all of our thorns continued to get smaller, but we all stayed the course. By Good Friday, our thorns all resembled a tiny stick. It actually became s trong bonding experience and we had fun with it.
The moral of this story was that we performed and executed as a cohesive team; we were selfless, willing to share, and putting aside any teenage drama, conflicts, and personality differences for the good of the team. And, we enjoyed it…
How cool would that be for a company to run with such genuineness and collaboration?
If you’re in a position of ownership and/or leadership, what would that level of teamwork mean to your company? If you’re an employee, how much more fun would you have at work? How much more would your family, friendships and affiliations be benefit from such unselfishness?
Most companies and organizations have a vision of providing “unleashed” service or products to benefit and improve the lives of others. Employees most generally want to help accomplish this. True leadership inspires and motivates a culture of playing together as described in my book, Unleashed Leadership. In the end, it almost always starts with one person; maybe that’s you.
Whether we want to turn thorns into roses or businesses into thriving enterprises, it all starts by fostering a culture of “we.”
Pass the thorn, please…
Do you or your company need a better process for turning thorns into roses for your company or organization? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.
Quote of the Week:
“I am a part of all that I’ve met….”
~ Excerpt from Ulysses by Lord Tennyson
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Today is Fat Tuesday and as a practicing Catholic from the cradle, I know this is my last shot at tomfoolery for 40 days. Since I’m in Seattle and not New Orleans, my guess is my shenanigans will be somewhat, let’s say, muted.
For us Catholics, the season of Lent is a time for giving up something in the spirit of prayer and penance. This is NOT a religious or spiritual blog, so hang with me on this one. I have tried over the years to both give up something and to do something as part of my Lenten observations. This practice can also be applied to your business and/or your career.
Over the next 40 days, why don’t you consider improving yourself in business by both subtraction and addition?
By means of subtraction, what can you eliminate that will improve you – inordinate Internet and social media time; procrastination; poor self-talk; wasted effort on areas that aren’t making you better or enhancing your business; gossiping and drama proliferation; too much game playing on your mobile devises; or plain negative thinking? What are others that you know about within your own self-assessment?
By means of addition, what can you start doing to improve yourself – exercising every day; getting away from your desk and in front of people; saying thank you to others more often; giving compliments you employees and co-workers; eating healthier; rewarding yourself when you do things well; saying NO to projects that others want you to do that will take your time; and getting more rest and relaxation?
While the season of Lent may have different implications for me from a faith perspective, I also plan on taking my own advice for my career. I’m going to spend Fat Tuesday contemplating what those will be and share with you tomorrow. What about you? Are you ready to boost your career and your business; and significantly enrich your life over the next 40 days?
I double-dog dare you…
Until then, eat well today for tomorrow we get lean and mean! Happy Fat Tuesday!
© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved