Your Leadership Needs a Support System
Jeff Orr, MBA, MSL, TEDx Speaker, Author, Millennial Leadership Expert
I planted a 12-year-old tree in my backyard last year. It stands about 15 feet tall. In fact, I planted a number of trees in my backyard last year to create an oasis, a respite of sorts. I've been working hard on the weekends to make this a special place. I put all the support systems in place, the watering system, the drip irrigation, and the timers. I thought it out and planned it out carefully. It is almost finished and is already a great spot to relax, think, and create.
In my area of the country, monsoon season starts in mid July and goes through September. Sometimes we have some pretty strong winds that come with the heavy rains. Last year the trees held up just fine as they were supported on either side with long poles to keep them from falling in the wind. I removed the stakes this year to allow them to grow strong and deep. It had been long enough for the support - or so I thought. After all, the trees seemed very strong, and have been growing well this year.
I had a storm last night. Thunder roared almost constantly as the strong winds blew back and forth in bursts of high speed. All the trees bent and swayed in the onslaught. In the middle of the deluge, I heard a crash. One of my trees fell over. Despite all the support systems that had been in place that had helped the tree to grow, it wasn't enough apparently to keep it from falling over. Fortunately, the tree's roots were not exposed. So my wife, my daughter, and I worked hard into the night to right the tree, pack down the soil, and put in new support poles. The next morning, the tree looked like it did before, but time will tell.
As a leader, how is your support system? Do you have people and systems in place to support you when the storms of life hit you hard? Are you able to weather the storm? You may have done a lot to provide education for yourself. To provide training and development for yourself. But the storms of life will hit. The winds will blow hard. Are you able to withstand them or will you bend in the wind? Will you fall? And if you do, will there be people there to pick you up, and put supports in place to help you get back to health?
One of the key factors in the survival of my tree is the fact that I was there to pick it back up and re-support it. Do you have that in your leadership? Are you building a network of peers and other leaders that you can lean on in times of storm? Do you meet regularly with other leaders to gain wisdom, insight and help when needed? You can't go it alone. Leaders don't do it alone. The best leaders have a support system in place to help them, to support them, and to help them to excel and
grow and finish strong.
Jeff Orr, a TEDx speaker, is an expert in leadership and he coaches executives, business owners, and individuals with the tools and skills to lead more effectively, build high-performing teams, and experience true success in their careers and personal lives. As a dynamic and energizing keynote speaker and corporate trainer to Fortune 500 companies, Jeff has helped thousands grow in their leadership to impact their organizations and communities. Jeff engages his audience through humor, real world stories, and a genuine care for the people he speaks to, helping them to build lasting success internally and externally. He is also author of the highly acclaimed book, Succeed In The New Normal. Through his coaching company, InDemand Leadership, Jeff empowers his clients to experience internal growth, which then translates into sustainable external success.