Just on a month ago we welcomed in to the world our fantastic new baby girl Faith. Her mum, dad (me) and her three big brothers could not be prouder. But as you will see, I learnt a few things about leadership along the way.
Let's step away from the baby and consider the process of introducing a new idea of vision to your people or organisation. It can be tough! First of all you need to sell the idea in such a way that people 'own' it, or better still think it was their idea in the first place. When it involves change management, sometimes you push....push.....push....until the new idea or vision is birthed and people finally come onboard.
It an be great, but the new baby (or vision) is completely vulnerable, has no momentum and at the mercy of everyone carrying it. But it is great, in its early, youngest day, everybody wants to come and hold it, to nurture it and to look. It certainly is not capable of standing by itself and its ability to 'go' anywhere is completely dependant on people taking it there. Eventually, hopefully one day it grows up, is strong enough to stand by itself, and maybe even gives birth to other great ideas.
Now, back to new baby girl, Faith. With the usual amount of pushing, there she was! My first lesson for today, You may plan and push and a baby or idea may be born, but it might not be what you expect! In our case we had every reason to think our beautiful little baby girl was going to be boy number four for us. Obviously we already had three boys and thought that was the recipe we were good at, but more convincingly, at the twenty week scan, the obstetrician continually referred to the baby inside as a he...several times! So into the birthing unit we went with the drawers already set with the bus old clothes (note the photo! faith was not impressed!) and just one name, Jonah, ready to go.
You can imagine our surprise! What we did not do is to send it back and ask for what we thought would come! The same can happen with new idea and vision. Sometimes after the pushing is all finished, a new vision or idea is born, but it might look different to the one you went into the delivery suite prepared for. So long as it still has a heart beat, two arms and ten toes, it doesn't matter.
I know I used to get upset because When I, metaphorically, asked for someone to make soup (in my mind thinking pumpkin soup would be good) and the came back with tomato soup I would get disappointed! However, it usually did not matter, people would still get feed! I have learnt to get more specific if I need pumpkin soup, but now am happy for people to, metaphorically, cook the best soup they can.
Second big lesson, more of a thought than something that was realised, was that sometimes, with some people you can push.....push.....PUSH!!! In the end nothing is new is birthed and you are left with great big haemorrhoids and they're just a big pain in the butt!
I guess the trick for leaders is to know when to stop pushing and try something or someone new.