Take Care of the Corners
Due to my work, I fly a lot. I have my packing and travel day routines down to a science and I know what I need to do to be at my best when I’m traveling. I often fly on Southwest which means I don’t know my seat selection until I walk onto the plane and see what options are remaining. As a frequent flyer I am usually one of the first people to board the plane so getting my desired window seat is rarely a problem. I like the window seat because of the privacy and the view. It really is amazing what you can see from 30,000 feet. The earth certainly looks different from a distance.
On many trips, particularly those that take me over the Midwest I find myself amazed at the colors and patterns of the landscape below. Often times the farmland is a patchwork of squares and circles in various shades of green and brown. For a long time, I was confused as to why farmers were planting their crops as circles inside squares. Come to find out, that isn’t the case at all.
What we see from the sky is that the crops are growing in a circle due to the irrigation system they are using. Nearly 80 years ago Frank Zybach invented the Center-Pivot Irrigation System which waters crops in a circular fashion. The crops aren't planted in a circle, they are watered in a circle. More often than not the water never gets to the crops in the corners so those never grow. The crops that do grow and develop are the ones that are closest to the water supply.
The most effective leaders I work with understand this concept and how it applies to people. To maximize the potential of your team you must provide water to the corners. In other words, you need to invest in all your people, not just those who are closest to you.
So who on your team is planted in a distant corner and in need of attention? The water you supply might come in the form of personal growth opportunities, acknowledgment of others, meaningful connections, or providing additional resources. Great leaders seek to grow and develop everyone on their team regardless of proximity.
You might need to take a step back or even get a 30,000-foot view to figure out how you can better serve others because life, much like the earth, looks very different from a distance.
Be the leader who takes care of the corners.
Molly Grisham, mollygrisham.com
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