This is part of my Thought Piece Series where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward.

Back in 2018 the team at Denk Producties put together a great agenda and I went to the Forward Thinking Leadership conference. It was a gift to myself, and now I shared the gift with you. I put together the main takeaways from each of the speakers for you (which you can find in this post. it’s a long one so grab a cuppa and enjoy).

The Forward Thinking Leadership conference of September 28th was a well organised, invigorating, joyful experience. And while Obama was the highlight of the show, he actually had a really tough job to follow the other amazing speakers of the day.
There were three elements to the day, each developed around one of these themes:
Forward – Thinking – Leadership

So here is a key lesson from Maggie.

Maggie MacDonnell, The Best Teacher In The World

Maggie says she takes the gardening approach to cultivating youth leadership (notice, she doesn’t call it teaching; she’s cultivating leaders. This is significant). This approach is: look at what environment you are providing for the seed. Does it have enough fertiliser to nourish it so that it can grow? What amount of light and water does it need?
Then she engages them in project-based learning e.g. the bike repair shop. This particular school had a 90% drop out rate. The kids loved bikes and would steal them from the town folk. So she started a bike repair shop – and the former “thieves” learned how to make their own bikes. Give them what they need.

Give them what they need to grow. If a flower doesn’t bloom, you don’t blame the seed, you change the environment it’s growing in

When was the last time you had a look at your environment? Are you set up to be able to grow and thrive? Some of us already had that set up at work – but then COVID happened and we had to go into “quick, let’s make this work”.

But now that it’s summer, and so much has changed, is your environment still helping you to grow?

Probably not.

Maybe it’s time to take a time out from all that doing, and assess your environment. Even small changes can make a big difference.

Want to talk about making the changes? Let’s connect.