During one of our evening Wednesday Night Men’s Group meetings at The Bricks one of my friends shared his experience in what we will call ‘purposeless busyness’. At a former place of work so as to keep ahead of schedule on a landscaping project, they were tasked with taking torches to thaw out the ground and plant sapling trees…mind you, this is during the dead of winter. After my friend shared his story all I could say was, “Well I guess I’ve been teaching my Horticulture students wrong this whole time.” We all got a good chuckle out of the story, but can’t this be said of many things in our life?
We are so desperate for things to keep going or going right that we are willing to do anything…anything to see that through. However, when does our “anything” become a detriment and actually hurts the work we are committed to? There are times and places which are completely appropriate for us to have this “anything to make this work” kind of attitude, but as many times as that mindset is correct there are an equal amount of times it is incorrect and borderline irresponsible. So let’s break this down into a couple scenarios:
The Times “Anything” Should Fly —
- When communication and commitment are strong– There are times in a project where the winds of forward momentum are unstoppable. Communication and vision are clear among all stakeholders and there is a clear sense of commitment among these partners. In this situation the deck is stacked for success; therefore to maintain these levels of trust and communication, action must be demonstrated to back the commitment being made into the vision.
- The window of opportunity is short, but with high potential- It is crunch time, the resources being deployed by the team is not on an infinite timeline and this is the do or die moment. Time to light that midnight candle and see this project through, do the hard work in this window and reap the rewards through rest at the end of the journey. (However, please consider this in respect to your personal needs and the season of life it finds you in.)
The Times “Anything” MUST STOP —
- When there are cracks in trust among the team- Lack of trust is the ultimate killer of all great plans. It doesn’t matter what you do (and it could be anything in those moments)…there will be doubts and seeds of distrust in all actions made. It is worth pumping the breaks on progress and recognize the lack of trust. Rebuilding trust MUST take priority in those times. People are what make plans possible…when we fail to recognize that and treat others as just pieces on a grand master planning board we will face rebellion.
- It’s killing you or someone else!- This sounds obvious, but each of our lives achieve balance in radically different ways. Some of us can commit great levels of energy towards a project and not find much disruption on our ability to live well, others must do so in a more responsible way which allows for meeting the season in life they find themselves in. The “anything” factor cannot be forced upon anyone, this is a voluntary choice. If ever we feel forced or worse, force others, to adopt an “ANYTHING” attitude, then we MUST reconsider our motives. Who is this truly for?? Our own egos? Self-image?
Hopefully, these scenarios provide some insights into the times that afford an “Anything” attitude and the times that should force pause on such a mindset! At the end of the day all these scenarios are rooted in relationships and trust…the more I learn about leadership and practice it; it has become overwhelmingly clear that these two areas are the most critical in successful leadership.
Hope everyone is having a great Summer thus far! Thank you for reading and sharing!
Take care, Anthony