Everything starts somewhere. The actions of those around us often start with an idea, or a passion. Sometimes things start with a conversation, or a story. Other times, it’s dealing with an unsatisfactory situation, and a desire for change that sparks action. For every action we take, there are thousands of places we could start.
Every plant starts from the same place- a seed planted in the ground, where it will take root. Every building starts in the same place- a concrete foundation, poured into the ground, forming a base. I would argue that leadership needs to start from that place too- the ground.
To me, much of leadership today is ungrounded. Everyone has a great idea, a sky-high idea, and they try and run with it. Or they have a thousand ideas, and think they can do all of them. It’s not surprising that this mind-set has become common; today’s society has taught our generation we can do anything we want. And for some people, ‘anything’ equates to ‘everything’.
How many times have you seen an event fail because it was planned last minute? How many times has an idea or an initiative not panned out because it was unrealistic from the beginning? Ever seen someone take off with an idea without considering the basics first- and stumble because of it?
I believe that leadership needs to be re-grounded. We need to go back to the basics, and start from there. We need to let our ideas take root and grow, and not just take off, out of control. Leadership and new ideas need to be treated the same way we treat our plants- with patience, care, and diligence. Fundamentals are important, but seem to be frequently forgotten.
So the next time you step into a position of leadership, step back for a minute. Assess what has already been built that you can continue building upon. Think about the fundamentals and the basics. And instead of trying to fly, plant a seed.