I’ve learned a lot on my journey in the landscape-snow industry and one of the biggest things I have learned is -you need to surround yourself with not only others to compliment your vision, and managerial style, but others to listen to your thoughts and be a sounding board for ideas-
As leaders; we are accustomed to obtaining the best information, consultation, and help available for everything – except ourselves. It’s lonely at the top. We have innumerable problems to consider and decisions to make, but it can be difficult for us to candidly discuss our thoughts, concerns, and doubts with others. We make lots of decisions; sometimes have difficulties with this process and sometimes even struggle over making decisions by ourselves.
So what do we do?… Sometimes we need ‘like-minded’ people to surround ourselves with. Like a lot of things in life, the thing that makes something so great, can also the biggest drawback. In this case, the danger is the like-mindedness itself. When you surround yourself with only like-minded people, it’s very easy to stop there and just surround yourself with people who agree with you because you all have the same beliefs, think the same way and do the same things. It becomes very easy to simply accept that something is true because enough of the people around you say it’s true and accept that what you believe is right just because people around you say it’s right.
For me personally; it took a while to shift my paradigm …while I always liked to say that it is important to hire people who are ‘like-minded’, I then I asked myself what it would be like to work with people like me all day…a pretty scary thought actually. In re-defining my own beliefs; what I realized is that it is important to have employees who share and understand the ‘core values and ideologies’ of the organization and have the same integrity when it comes to supporting the company culture. I learned and now believe that developing a strong organizational culture comes from achieving a balance of ‘like-minded’ individuals complemented by individuals who further enhance the viewpoints, ideas and suggestions of others. More importantly; I believe a balance of these personalities helps bring the team together to expand creativity and further creates the necessary synergy to develop innovative solutions to everyday problems.
Overall; passion, trust and shared values are the glue that holds an organizations team together. Once you have a ‘TEAM’ that cohesively works together; this forms the foundation that brings organizational strength, and endless opportunities for employees personally and professionally. While leaders often spend their days surrounded by people, the last thing you might expect is to feel alone. I assure you; sometimes it’s lonely at the top!
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The Visionary Leader: How to inspire success from the top down.
- Susan Bagyura (Author), Michael E. Gerber (Foreword), Fiona Dempsey (Illustrator)