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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders. Her Monday Moment has been a popular leadership learning tool since 2006!

A system, a cure, and three lessons all from one blade of grass?

This weekend I was picking blades of newly planted winter rye grass out of tiny cracks between our sidewalk pavers (because no one told me a product would do this in half the time) and I began to think about the leadership correlations. Yes, even when doing yard work, there are lessons in leadership to be learned.

Leadership Lesson 1: How to cure the feeling of overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed simply means you don’t see all the steps. My Dad has always said “If you find someone who can get through life more than one day at a time, I’d like to meet them.” I thought of his phrase as I looked over hundreds of these little grass suckers. At first it felt like one blade, versus one day, at a time would take forever. Slowly, one blade at a time turned into a small section of sidewalk. That section turned into a larger section and before I realized it, I was at the end. What large project do you need to break down into smaller steps? What small steps, taken consistently and persistently, would result in project completion? 

Leadership Lesson 2: For everything a system can be developed

As I pulled too hard on some and left the root in the sidewalk crack, I learned to lesson my effort. The right pressure removed the root and all. Holding on to several blades and pulling them out at once cleared an entire paver edge.  I’m talking about grass people, but this has application to so many time consuming, repetitive tasks that if we just created a system, would happen faster. What system do you need to develop, tweak or modify this year?

Leadership Lesson 3: Leaders who plan prevent extra work

What was the rye grass seed doing on the sidewalk to begin with? Well, one can’t re-sod a yard in the winter and we were tired of it being brown so fast-growing winter rye did the trick this time of year. (There’s a lesson in timing in there, too!) In the haste of putting it out, no attention was paid to where it landed so this fast growing grass found a home where it didn’t belong and instead of looking for a product to kill it in those areas, I went to work. How often do you find yourself doing extra work because you didn’t take the time to plan a strategy or lead team members to plan before acting?

Leadership is an effort made one day at a time, an act carried out one day at a time, and a result achieved one act, and one effort, and one day at a time. What is the one act, effort or result you need to achieve today to get you and the team where you want to be this time next year? Join me this year for leadership guidance and leadership answers, one Monday at a time and together we’ll journey through how to become a better leader.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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