By Dianne Crampton
I have given a lot of thought to belonging and kindness. Maybe as an adopted child I would spend a good part of my life contemplating it. Is belonging blood? Is it the family and friendships we create? Is it the community we build? Is it the people who embrace us? The people we embrace? Is it part of the creative design of our life to be even contemplating this?
I hold a magical belief that everyone is in the right place at the right time even if we don’t understand why something seems so wrong. Take the young man who recently had his life taken on the way home from a convenience store. A life so brief now holds the mirror for our entire country to reflect on justice, unfairness, and meanness on all levels of society.
Call it destiny. But I do believe that there are people destined to do good things as well as those things that show us the ugly under belly of community gone seriously wrong.
And this brings me back to belonging and kindness and what we as leaders can create when we focus on it as an action item for our lives, in our businesses and in our strategic alliances.
What has given me pause to stop and contemplate belonging and kindness lately is a drama that is occurring in my back yard every day. My family was blessed last year with four baby robins that hatched at eye level in a small evergreen tree that separates my yard from the yard next door.
I don’t know if you have watched the fledgling process but it is brutal. Once the baby robins are big enough to fly the parents literally push them out of the nest to survive on their own. One of the babies simply didn’t get how to fly very quickly. For example, one time there was this knocking on my home office window and it was flying as hard as it could with its beak and face against the window, eyes terrified until it slid to the ground to try again.
We think it was the same robin our neighbors called about that had slammed into their window and was unconscious. I put on my garden gloves and scooped it up and put it under a thick bush in the yard to recover. It did, but it is clear this robin has now slammed into windows one too many times. It doesn’t fly very well. It can lift off the ground, which ensures its survival but seems exhausted after a short flight.
It lived through the winter on bird seed, peanut butter and jelly suet and holly berries. And it is so excited when the quail enter the yard. It will get as close as it can to them under the arborvitae for warmth and company. It’s the same with the doves and the finches. The other robins that enter the yard move too fast for it so it along with the flickers and jays. The ground feeders, however, are perfect.
The point of this story is that the drive to belong is instinctual.
And this brings me to leadership and the understandings true leaders have that transforms them from being business owners, managers, department heads and executives to masters of the work environment.
Leadership isn’t a position. It doesn’t come with a title. I do believe it has something to do with the communities we build that provide the environment for kindness, belonging, cooperation and success to thrive.
I’ve been unleashing TIGERS® on the world for 23 years now. And I am just putting the finishing touches on a complimentary webinar that explains how to build a work environment where trust and cooperation thrive. It’s under an hour and will be housed in the complimentary general membership area of the www.corevalues.com website. Jeune is working on the infrastructure now and Denise is pulling together the marketing copy.
And, I will be sharing more of my reflections on kindness and belonging in future blog posts.
In other news, Tony and Kitty are just about ready to graduate as recognized TIGERS facilitators and we are still building in this area with a few more people adding the TIGERS Team Wheel™ to their suite of group development tools. We will be training another group of 15 internal HR people to facilitate TIGERS Team Whee™l in their organizations with the consensus and action planning components we also provide. And Stephanie is about ready to start on some of our other membership training components soon.
The team decided to spend $100 to give new subscribers a coupon for goods and services so if you are a long time subscriber send me a note in the e-mail address we provide in our newsletter and I will give you the code.
Have a great week. Life and work is good in the TIGERS tribe and if belonging and kindness is important to you, please stay tuned.