Acceptance is a big part of growth.
Let me explain. K (my wife) and I decided to stay at home for a “stay-cation” during the winter holidays. In the past we had piled the kids into an airplane and gone places like New York City or Oregon or Ashville, NC to have experience based vacations. This year after a long slog of travel in November and the during the first week of December we both were just a little burned out on getting on planes and staying in hotels. So we said, hell we live in the sunshine state…lets just hang out here, it will be relaxing, we can just unplug a little. Flash forward to day 5 of our stay-cation and we haven’t spent any quality time with each other. The kids sit on video game terminals, I stress out, my wife is on the phone. We are never in the same room, we can’t figure out what to do that is fun. I wake up 2 to 3 hours earlier than everyone else, we feel like prisoners in our own home…what can we do to get out of this place? Then it hits me.
The reason we are having a bad time on this “stay-cation” is because we are fighting the reason we took it. We took it to calm the nerves, to relax, to unwind and here I am trying to control our fun. Here I am going “what can we do?” What we need to do is to nothing. We need to read, we need to go for a beach walk, we need to sleep late and enjoy it. Accepting that we are here that we are living in a calm place where not a lot happens, can adjust my need to go do more. Sometimes you have to let it come to you. I had been trying to make Sarasota, FL a place with mountains and hiking and exploration, when what it is, is a place to breathe. Now that I remember that, I can accept it for what it has to offer rather than pushing it to be what it is not. In doing so I am realizing there is no perfect place, that every place has its own greatness and our job is to just find what makes it great and go with that.
The 3 best experiences we have had this week were strolling through a Saturday morning Farmer’s Market with no agenda just strolling. We ended up getting a Salmon and some great vegetables which we cooked up as a family that night. Great bonding experience. My little one must have pet 45 different dogs and was so happy. We went for a walk on the beach and brought a soccer ball and ended up in a 2 v 2 barefoot game filled with laughter, cheering and tears (not mine), so much fun. Finally, we had a 3-hour bike ride to nowhere, just around the neighborhoods, the kids wanted to go down hills so we found some and they were joyous. We finished by eating popsicles and a huge lunch of leftovers, followed by a great nap. Letting go sometimes is the best way to get what you want. In addition, finding what is great about the current situation will simply get you more greatness.
Think about that when you are being a leader. Do you find what is best in the people around you? Do you focus on what they are and their own brilliance? Or, do you push them to be something they are not. Do you enhance their greatness or highlight how they are not what you want them to be? Which one will create faster growth?
Acceptance will help create growth. When K and I talk to CEO’s and Head Coaches we often use the acronym for effective leadership..LEAD. Listen Empower ACCEPT and Develop. The acceptance is key for development. When you meet people where they are, you can find what makes them amazing, and then you can build. Without proper understanding and acceptance there can be no foundation for full rapid growth. So remember, the lesson of the stay-cation, accept, be, and find what is great.
Twitter: Joshua Lifrak