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Do You Have the Right Environment to Grow?

Over the winter my husband, Michael, and I hung three bird houses in the back yard. We got inspired last Spring after a bird family built a nest in one of our backyard rose bushes. Unfortunately the babies didn’t make it. They were exposed to predators.

So, day after day we watched the houses waiting see what would happen. Finally we noticed that two of the houses had constant action. Birds sat on the “stoop” chirping loudly as if to keep predators away or call to their mate (we don’t speak bird, so I’m not sure what they are chirping!). They carried sticks and dried grass in their beak, leftover from the winter months, back to the houses and scurried inside to build a nest.

The houses are too high and openings too small to see what’s going on. And Michael and I aren’t hip enough to have a “bird cam”, so we kept watching and waiting to see what might happen.

About a week ago, I sat outside to sip my morning coffee and write in my journal. The cacophony of chirping was louder than I’d ever heard. When I lifted my head to see about the commotion, I noticed a lot more birds sitting on the fence and the feeder than the day before.

They had their babies, I thought. I noticed one of the babies sitting on the fence beak open, waiting for food. Mom or dad flew over to feed the baby bird.

All of this right in my own backyard because we created a safe environment for them to grow.

What does this have to do with business, leadership or communication?

Great question. As leaders and business owners, we, too, need a safe, supportive environment to grow – personally and professionally.

An environment…

  • To connect with like-minded people and get support, encouragement and honest feedback.
  • Safe from “predators”. Things like dealing with competitors, difficult employees or colleagues, and other distractions that may burn you out instead of lift you up.
  • To gain clarity and focus. A place free from day-to-day distractions. A place to recharge and reconnect to the vision and mission of your work.

Find Your “Bird House”

If there’s one thing I continue to learn on my own journey, it’s that we cannot be successful on our own. We need the help and support of others. So what can you do? Here are a few ideas.

  • Create a peer group. Find a group of colleagues you trust, who are on a similar path of growth and interested in meeting regularly. You get to create the rules.
  • Join an association. Attend meetings and meet new people at a local Chamber or industry association.
  • Join a facilitated mastermind group. If you don’t have time to create a group yourself, find a local business mastermind run by a business or leadership coach. You get to focus on the work that really matters, while the facilitators take care of the rest.

The Bottom Line

Leaders, much like the birds, need a “nest” where they break free from predators (temporarily), gain clarity and make connections that will help them grow themselves and their business. Your clients and employees will be waiting, with open beaks, when you return.

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