The Everyday Leader: Being in the right place

I planted ivy on a hill in my front yard several years ago.  It wasn’t the first thing I had tried.  Every other thing planted just did not make it and the dirt  would wash away each time there was a hard rain.  While it has taken some time, the ivy has now taken off.  In fact, it seems I just go out and trim it, and it creeps up on the porch.  It is incredible!

The ivy thrives where it is.  In fact, it is so thick now; soil washing away is never a problem anymore.  It is amazing when you have the right plant in the right place what happens.  In many ways, it is a lot like people.  When we are in the right place we thrive.  When we have the right people on our team our team is more likely to be successful. 

Just like the ivy, even if you are in the right place but the conditions are not right it is hard to thrive.  We eventually will burn or die out.  It is essential that we provide the right environment for our volunteers and staff.   Being an intentional leader means taking a hard look to see if you are in the right place.  Is it a good fit?  Are you in an environment that provides all that you need?  Are you doing your part to cultivate that environment?

What about the people you are responsible for?  Do you have the right people in the right place?  If not, what do you need to do to get them there?  What about the conditions they are working or serving in?  Are you intentionally taking the time to make sure it is a positive environment?  Is it a place where they can continue to learn?  Are you as a team working together or is everyone doing their own thing?  Do they feel safe to be themselves, to grow, to learn, to make a mistake? 

No matter what we are doing, whether we work alone or in a group, it is essential to be in the right place with the proper support, care  and healthy conditions we need to flourish…no different than the ivy.

The everyday leader intentionally looks at the details, even when we are busy.  We take the time to evaluate, to make the changes when necessary. 

It means being intentional to have the right person in the right place.

It means being intentional to be the leader our people need us to be.

I want to be that everyday leader.   Willing to be intentional.


8 thoughts on “The Everyday Leader: Being in the right place

  1. Like plants, we all need to be nurtured to thrive. As leaders, it is essential that our employees (followers) know that they are cared about, and that their opinions matter. They need to understand that what they do every day, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is vitally important to the overall mission. Recognition of their efforts through frequent, specific and sincere positive feedback is also critical to keeping them engaged as contributing members of the team. Lastly, as leaders, we need to understand what the strengths and talents are of those we manage to insure that they are in the right position, have a clear understanding of what their responsibilities are, and have tools required to complete their tasks.

  2. Great thoughts to start the day with, Cathy! Sometimes I think I am doing intentional things, but then the day gets away somehow and I wonder what example I am setting and what I am accomplishing. Today will be better with God’s help:)

  3. I am so proud of you! I am a firm believer that it is never too late to make changes in our lives. Sometimes it is much more difficult to take a hard look at our own lives, especially if we are busier caring and guiding others. It does sound like you are tuning into how God has shaped and molded you to do great things. I wish you the very best in your journey and trust God has great things in store for you!

  4. Cathy, you are once again in my head at a time when I am a crossroads and planning my life for the next five years. I recently completed my master’s degree and when I started it two and a half years ago and two years before that when I started working on my bachelor’s degree, I had a plan. First, was to get my education updated and learn how I can better organize and operate, Girl Power Delaware, the nonprofit organization founded by a friend and me in 2000. That was my goal and partial purpose of continuing my education.

    However, I did not learn enough missed my directional mark by a hair or two. It may be hard to believe, but four years ago, there were limited opportunities for online degrees in the area nonprofit management, community service, and service learning. Today, there are many more options than business and public administration. The latter was the direction I should have focused on, instead of making it secondary. I focused on business management and leadership, and dabbled in public administration. Considering my interest and innate ability for the study and creation of public policy and the fact that it energizes me, in hindsight public administration should have been my focus.

    I suspected that Public Administration and Policy was the way to direct my education and my energies; however, I was intimidated by my age and career paths in politics usually begin at 21, not 58-years-old. As a career counselor, I did a poor job on counseling me. At this point, I realize public policy would have been a more productive choice. It took me a while to get over the fear of returning to school after 25 years.

    I am goal oriented and a strategic planner, which is being “intentional”. I intentionally focus on community service and giving back, creating paths for the next generation to carry forward a commitment to women’s rights. It is obvious, now, that I need to focus and do a better job of intentional planning for myself. I may not be in the right place, surrounded by the energy that maximizes my full potential and my contribution to all of the communities I serve. My strategic planning process now has a new title: My Intentional Life Plan.

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