Yesterday I went on a walk with a friend when we came upon a rolling mountain meadow, peppered with the most gorgeous wildflowers you could imagine. Crisp blues, vibrant oranges, and dashing yellow flowers seemed to jump off the ground right at me. While slowly strolling down the path, it was hard to focus on just one area as my eyes fixated on one blast of color to another.
Since I am new to mountain life, I began asking questions about the field and the property of Glorieta Camps. I learned that the field previously did not have any flowers because people would often mow or weed-eat the area in order for it to look cleaner and well-kept. While that thought process had short-term effects, it was preventing the breath-taking growth of the flowers and the beauty they could one day provide. If we allowed the growth to continue, the flowers would seed the area and naturally produce more flowers for years to come.
How “Mowing” is Killing Your Growth
Often in business, we like things tidy and neat. While the idea of having employees that would become wildflowers seems appealing, the uncontrolled nature of it all scares many managers and leaders. The process of growth looks messy and often weeds grow next to the flowers. It is hard to tell what is a weed and what is a flower until they bloom. Many times we are judged on the appearance of progress or success, so we landscape our culture and our companies to look good, clean, and kept.
If we look good from the outside then we must be good on the inside, right? Wrong!
This rolling meadow of wildflowers is at the entrance of Glorieta Camps. Every person who enters the gates has the opportunity to gaze on the beauty of God’s creation and see His handy work in this natural garden. Often people would stop to take pictures or just take in the view. It is the same way with your organization. While the clean field looks good, it will never attract people to want to be a part of it; no one would give a second thought to that mowed field.
What area of influence is your organization missing out on because the process of employee growth is hampered?
Contagious Growth Culture
Creative employees and strong leaders multiply in organizations where other creatives and leaders have been allowed to grow. Wildflowers grow the first year and then double in the second year. If allowed to grow right the first year, the field is prepared and ripe for more gorgeous growth.
Looking around your organization, do you see a lack of creative people or leaders? When strong employees join your company, do they have longevity and sustained passion?
By taking an internal inventory of your employees’ growth, ingenuity, and development, you will be better able to determine your fate. Allowing a growth culture will attract more people that will catapult your organization. Pretty soon customers will notice the caliber of employees and the work they produce. Imagine having a pool of growing, talented, and vibrant employees that cause your customers to stop and take notice.
This past summer, we had a drought here in New Mexico. This lack of water affected all growing things, making them weak and unable to develop, often resulting in death. However, when we entered the monsoon season, the rain began pouring down. This nourishment was so good for the people and the land- especially the flowers. Often a wildflower will grow but will never bloom without water. Once the water comes, the flowers open up and begin to amaze.
Find ways to invest in your employees and encourage them to bloom. If you have made it to this place in your organization, you are so close to having a vibrant growth culture. Challenge yourself to allow others to shine brighter than you and you will reap great benefits personally and organizationally. Once the growth has begun and is cultivated, more talent will come and your organization will continue to grow to new heights.