The English Proverb: “April Showers bring May flowers,” reminds us that even after a period of adversity (short or long) good times will follow. No matter how bad the situation that we currently find ourselves in, it will eventually pass, and we will find ourselves in better circumstances again.
At Seasons Leadership we use the cycles of nature as a metaphor for leadership and life, for the changes that we go through. As my business partner Susan wrote in her blog on spring, “Spring is seen as a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, as plants and animals come out of hibernation and start to grow again. At Seasons Leadership we use the term “Awaken” to describe spring. We welcome spring as a fresh start awakening after the cold and dark winter months.”
Though at the start of spring we often find ourselves still stuck in the middle of the blahs of rainy, blustery weather and it is difficult to remind ourselves that there will be beautiful weather ahead. We must be patient; the fair skies will come on Mother Nature’s schedule, not our schedule.
Case in point: I had just transitioned into a new role in a part of the business that I was unfamiliar with. I found myself with a lot of free time. I needed to be patient and give myself time to transition but instead found myself frustrated because patience does not come naturally to me. My boss asked me how things were going, and my response was, “I am itching to dive in and get things done, but I can’t because I don’t know anyone and haven’t yet been accepted fully into the new organization.” He chuckled and said, “My advice is to enjoy this time of quiet while you transition and make the most of it. Soon enough you will be so busy that you’ll be wishing you had this time back!” Needless to say, he was exactly right.
Turning showers into opportunity
So how do we make the most of the enforced quiet time during the “showers?” I recommend spending time on “rainy day” activities, something that you can control when you can’t control the weather or your current situation.
Some suggestions include:
-cleaning out and organizing files or spaces, either virtually or physically.
-making a prioritized plan for what you will do when you are past this situation. - exercising your body or your mind in preparation for when things will be moving forward at a faster rate.
As a leader, you can set the example for your team; helping them see the path forward and collectively working on actions under their control to accomplish that will help prepare them for when things are moving again. Things like research, planning activities, or cleaning and organizing.
Leadership Excellence in the spring season looks like preparing you/your team to succeed in your longer-term goals, enabling you to move forward as soon as the weather clears. Successful teams spend time planning and establishing norms at the beginning of a new venture. Our Seasoned Leader David Spong shared in a recent “Lessons in Leadership” column two examples of how he worked with new teams to establish operating principles which laid the groundwork for good communication and trust.
If you spend your rainy time moping or complaining about how much you don’t want to be stuck in this situation you will miss valuable opportunities for self-improvement and preparation for better times. However, if you use your rainy time wisely, when the clouds break, the sun comes out, and the flowers start blooming, you will find that you are ready and can immediately start moving in the direction of your goals and dreams.
Get more insights on preparing for success from the Seasons Leadership blog, podcast and Patreon community: