3 Tips: Spring Cleaning for Leaders 🌿Mar 16, 2021
You can tell that Spring is in the air. I woke up this morning to something I had not heard in months. The chirping sound of birds outside my window is a sure sign that winter is over and we are about to enter into the season of renewal and rebirth. These days, up here in Canada, the days are longer, the sunshine is bolder and the grass is slowly beginning to brighten towards its nice shade of green.
When I was a kid on the farm, Spring was always full of life and spring cleaning chores. Calves, kittens, and puppies would be emerging every day in the valleys and nooks and crannies of the barn. It was time for us to take stock of how much hay was left in the loft, how much grain in the silo, and what needed mending, fixing, or cleaning after a long winter.
This feeling that Spring is for cleaning and renewal has never left me.
As a leader, I have often thought of Spring as a time to take stock of the year and use it as an opportunity to evaluate, plan, and recharge both the organization as well as myself.
Here are three simple tips that I engage in each Spring that are part of creating my culture of high performance across the teams I lead.
- Evaluate and Assess
I take a moment to celebrate the initiatives that went well and the goals I hit out of the park. I also take a moment to reflect on the misses. I want to think ‘about the WHY’. I want to find the teachable moments of why a goal was not reached or an initiative not launched. If something is close, sometimes a little extra boost can get a project over the finish line.
With my fiscal year ending in April and folks grinding all year, now is not the time for me to add a new goal or project to the list.
Now is the time to have an authentic look at the body of the work you and your team have led over the course of the year and recognize the lessons learned.
- Plan and Strategize
Spring is an opportunity to turn my attention towards the upcoming year. Just as the farmer plans what fields to rotate and what crops to sow, Spring is my time for planning for the plan —as awkward as that may sound.
The end of my fiscal is always a mad rush. We rush to balance budgets, rush to get performance plans in and finish off projects. Before we know it, the new year is upon us and we haven’t taken the time to make a new plan and communicate our priorities for the upcoming year. Take the time in Spring to set aside the dates for your yearly planning team workshop. Start collecting the feedback on the priorities.
We can find ourselves reacting to issues instead of proactively moving the organization forward if we don’t take the time to plan for making the plan. Planning leads to high performance.
- Invest to Recharge and Renew
In order for me to be my best self, I need to take time to attend to my own renewal. Just like a farmer who will not plant in a field every year but will allow the field a chance to go fallow in order to create a great crop the next year, we must also allow ourselves to rest.
Spring is a chance to sharpen my saw, to find activities that bring me joy and make time fly. This is called a state of FLOW and helps increase your happiness levels and your feelings of optimism.
I try and cut back on meetings in the spring if possible. I’ve been known to call an impromptu ‘ice cream social’ in the spring.
This Spring I have already scheduled a white water canoeing trip, where my cell phone signal is weak, where the internet doesn’t reach. The neat aspect of white water canoeing is that you can’t afford to have your mind wander to work while you’re racing down a waterfall with rocks to your left and right. The consequences of not being in the moment are far too severe.
Take time to reconnect to a hobby or just simply balance your hours and watch how much more productive you will be in the office.
Best of luck with your Spring cleaning this year. I hope that you take the time to refresh yourself as much as you will the areas around your household this spring.