Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Last night, I had one of those "ah-ha" moments that opened my eyes to what it means to be engaged with the team I am honored to lead. The ah-ha moment didn't come at work, oddly enough it came from the pool. After a long day of making smiles at the shop, I took my two darling children to the swimming pool. I'm not saying you HAVE to call me Supermom... but I was prepared. My pool bag was stuffed to the very top with everything you could possibly need. Goggles, snacks, drinks, pool toys, towels, a life vest for Aria (I noticed last trip to the pool she was venturing out out of the shallows into the deeper end and might need the extra support to keep her afloat this time), and a radio with the sweet summer hits of 2003. Everything we needed in order to have the best pool night ever!
As we walked to the pool, I reminded the four and six year old of the expectations... don’t run near the edge, be mindful of surroundings and so on. I was totally on it. When we walked in, I found a cozy spot to sit on the edge where I could read my book and dipped my toes in the water. My kids, however, wasted no time and jumped right in.
We did it... we made a plan; then prepared and executed it flawlessly. Parents know, this is no easy task. I went ahead and pat myself on the back. The evening was going according to plan. I thought of everything... they had snacks, things to do to keep busy and have fun. Aria had a life vest so she could test out the deeper waters. All the right things right? To me maybe... but to them? No way. They wanted me IN THE POOL. To my littles... I wasn’t really “at the pool” while sitting on the edge. It wasn’t until I jumped in and began to play with them did the real memories begin. Aria didn’t need the life jacket when I was there with her. Instead of relying on it, we worked on swimming so that she won’t need to wear that week after week.
Leaders: Where are you with your team? Sure you can be totally prepared, organized and well thought out... but are you in the pool? Or on the edge? I challenge everyone to look at your leadership style and ask yourself what areas can you afford to be more engaged with your team? Hold that thought in your mind... get a running start... and jump in!