Article for Nurse

Leadership: The seeds for growing great teams

by Aila Accad, RN, MSN

From my deck, I watch spring unfold in a familiar pattern. Crocuses break through the snow creating anticipation for what is to come. Then, bright trumpeting daffodils herald the hope of change as winter winds still chill the bones. Dogwoods pick up the call with pizzazz as trees and grass stretch in lime green response to the changing climate. Blue periwinkle blossoms call attention to the fact that its consistent evergreen carpet has been here all along keeping the weeds in check. Teams and gardens have a lot in common.

Like the crocus, there are futurists who can see change coming long before it is obvious to any one else. They tend to be hardy, able to continue to forecast the future in spite of prevailing blustery conditions. Once change is on the horizon, communicators trumpet the message loud and clear through books, trade journals, and in meetings and training sessions. As the trumpeters capture people’s attention, the visionaries move forward to inspire a picture of where we can go together. When each person awakens to the reality of changing conditions, they bloom into their unique role in the landscape.

There are steady folks who cover the groundwork and keep the problems (weeds) in check with quiet constancy and dependability. Seasonal perennials provide peak performance at different times throughout the project. Early bloomers are data collectors and organizers who have what it takes to get things started. Mid-summer bloomers show their best colors when things start to heat up. Late bloomers are at brilliant under pressure for putting on the final display. Annuals are specialists who add vivid color as needed in the right places.

Teams like gardens require a variety of talents to perform well over time. Leaders need to be aware of the best conditions for individuals to contribute their unique gifts and perform at their natural best. Cross training has its limitations depending on the hardiness of an individual to perform well outside of their specialty area or ideal conditions. It is not useful to expect an acorn to grow into a poplar; then attack them when they cannot pull it off.

Some members work well under pressure while others are best suited to being steady ground cover on a day-to-day basis. There are those who flourish in public areas and others, like the orchid who require specialized greenhouse conditions.

Each team has a unique blend of members. Flexibility supports arranging workflow according to the talents of each person. Those who have specialized abilities can move in and out of the team as needed. This way performance can be stunning all year round.

Effective gardening requires planning, knowledge and wisdom. Recognizing natural strengths, talents and proper fit are core principles for working smarter.

Take time to select the right team members and evaluate the best conditions for each person to make their most effective contribution to the landscape of a project. Then, with a little care and maintenance, nature can take its course. The results will be spectacular!

© 2008 Aila Accad


Aila Accad, RN, MSN known as ‘The De-Stress Expert’, is a professional Nursing Speaker, Trainer and De-Stress Coach. She presents innovative Nurse De-Stress & Lead Programs . You can learn more by contacting her for speaking , workshops , retreats and personal coaching by using the Contact Form below.

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