“Womanhood is something you don’t consider until it hits you.”
– Laura Marling, British folksinger/songwriter
My middle child – Anna – just turned 13. It feels like just yesterday that I held her in the hospital after she was born. Now, she has – admittedly – stepped into womanhood. Where did the time go? She is my second child to become a teenager, as my oldest (Garrett) is 15 and driving. As we were celebrating Anna’s birthday, my youngest child (Miller) told anyone who would listen – “I am turning 10 in 2 months and 25 days.” It’s interesting to see our kids – and all youth for that matter – in such a hurry to grow up. My advice to them is to “just enjoy.” Stop and “smell the roses”.
The same goes with our work lives. Everyone I know is in a hurry to move on to the next project, job or opportunity. We all need to learn to live in the moment and embrace the time and space that we are currently in. In other words, we must think about what we can do to share our passions and make a difference in what we are doing today.
“I’m happy to report that my inner child is still ageless.”
– James Broughton, American poet/filmmaker
Baseball has always been referred to as “America’s pastime.” I am one who agrees with this label (or assessment) wholeheartedly. I fell in love with the sport at an early age and continued to play it competitively (ok – semi-competitively) until I was in my early 30’s. I had many great memories from playing baseball, and continued to make more as a coach until “retiring” recently.
One thing about baseball – like all sports – is that it’s a “kid’s game” that is supposed to be fun. Being a player, coach or fan allows us to connect with our childhood and the memories that we created when were young. My question to you is this – How can you bring out the inner child in your employees? What can you do to make work memorable and fun? After all, you spend 70% of your time at work…why not enjoy this time with those with whom you are spending it?
“Someone asked me, what’s the strength of the team, and I honestly have to say, it’s that they play as a team.”
– Gerald Oda, Hawai’I little league head coach (LLWS 2018 champion)
The Little League World Series wrapped up recently. Many great plays were made and new memories were created. Some complain that ESPN and other endorsements have overly sensationalized the event (LLWS), causing the players to have to grow up too early. With that said, viewers get to see young athletes – 11-13 years old – from across the world have fun year in and year out. They compete with class, laugh and cry, but most of all, leave it all on the field.
How do we instill that similar desire in the workplace? What can we do to have our employees understand the importance of teamwork, “playing” with passion, embracing their “inner child” and having fun getting the work done as a team? How do we remind our employees that it is ok to take risks and make mistakes, especially if it makes them hungrier and want to accomplish more? What can we do to “stop the noise” and remove the distractions – overabundance of emails, texts, meetings and trivial demands placed upon the workforce – that prevent employees from collaborating to work through adversity, manage risks and drive change and growth?
I challenge you to create an action plan for yourself that addresses these questions:
- What can I do to improve those around me?
- How can I be a better role model for others?
- What do I need to do to “stop and smell the roses” and “bloom where I’m planted”?
- How do I get in touch with my “inner child” more frequently? How can I use that time to enjoy, contribute and impact others?
- What steps can I take personally to bring our team/department closer together?
Best of luck on your journey. Take it one day at a time. Encourage others to “stop and smell the roses.” After all, we only have one life to live!