Feb
28
 

The leadership lessons of a snow storm

The leadership lessons of a snow storm
“Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.”
~Frederick Buechner

The other day a colleague stopped me to share his news. It seems he had been recently going on “auto-pilot,” simply moving from moment to moment, and person to person, issue to issue, trying to get everything done, and then a snow storm stopped him.

He had so much to do that day, and no time for the snow storm. To make it worse, school had been cancelled and he had to stay home with his kids. And, again, he had so much to do.

Stuck in the house for the morning, he fretted over the breakdown of his plans, his inability to accomplish. He found his impatience with his children rising, his frustration mounting. And then the snow stopped and he stepped outside into the whiteness to shovel. And shovel. And shovel.

He continued to fret as he worked to clear his driveway, and when his eight-year-old came out to ask if they could build a snowman, he heard himself say, “No,” without really thinking about it. And then he thought about it and quickly said, “yes, absolutely yes.”

My colleague spent a good twenty minutes playing and building with his child in the snow, and then set back to clearing his driveway, only something was different. He was different. He felt, somehow lighter, more at peace with the snow (and the beauty) around him. He shoveled. And shoveled. And shoveled. He listened to the quiet around him that was only broken by the sounds of his kids laughing and playing, and suddenly had a breakthrough idea on a problem he had been trying to solve for a client. He smiled to himself as he realized that he had done exactly what he needed to that day.

Where do you need to listen to your life? What is your life telling you? When you feel yourself on “auto-pilot” or stuck in frustration at the way things are turning out, listen to see what your life might be telling you.

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