Monday, July 25, 2016

Prepare for the Seasons


Prepare for the SeasonsBucks County, where I live, experiences every season. We get hot sticky summers, spectacular Fall leaves, snow in winter and spring brings stunning flowers. It’s stunning and when we moved from Australia I had no idea that people in this area ‘winterize’ their homes (not a term I’d heard before).


My home has two fireplaces so each year we have two cords of wood delivered (for my Aussie readers, a cord is a measurement of wood used in the US and Canada, who knew?)


Recently while helping my honey stack this wood perfectly into his specially designed woodshed (he’s an engineer), it struck me our businesses have seasons too.


As an opening keynote speaker for corporate audiences, most of my busy season is Spring, Fall and Winter, the summer has an easier pace as many of our corporate clients don’t host events with teams on vacation. It would be easy to get concerned with gaps in our calendar (and believe me I used to), until I realized the seasonal patterns.


Maybe your business, your company, your health, or even some relationships have seasons.


Here are 3 strategies to help you prepare for your seasons.


Know your cycles – this one took me a little while to learn in the US, it was different to Australia (the seasons are opposite).  Learning what the busy and slower cycles are in your business allows you to allocate your energy and resources in the best times. I choose summers to write books and catch up on development projects that I don’t get to while I am traveling during my busy seasons. What are the cycles in your business? How can you plan for the downtime and the busy times?


Do the work – stacking wood might be one of my least favorite activities in the summer heat however I have to be reminded how much I love watching a fire at night and the coziness it creates in my home. The wood has to be delivered early so it can be dry and ready when we need it.


When we are busy it’s easy to take our eye of the business development strategies or leadership development opportunities because we are so busy ‘doing the work’. We also need to be planning for strategic thinking time and people development time. Doing and planning are both important considerations for every leader wanting to focus their resources on what really matters.


Keep the faith – have you ever had a winter (or a dark season) that felt so long… a few years in Doylestown I have wondered when the winter is ever going to end! Mother nature takes her time and yet we know spring will arrive and with it fresh flowers, new leaves on the trees, baby squirrels and birds everywhere. Hibernation is sometimes required for recovery time or to access what are your most important strategies and focus for the next season.


Stay focused on why you are doing the work, what you need to achieve and know that the next season (and maybe your reward), is just around the corner.


Pay attention to what matters in your current season and remember we reap what we sow.


What can you do today to help you be prepared for your next season?


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