Where there is no rain, no flowers grow, pretty simple. Water is a necessary nutrient for any plant to grow. When it comes to certain varieties of plants, their flower sets them apart.
My family and I are at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida this week. Sometimes, I will head into writing days with no topic. I either pick one from a list in my Evernote or something comes to me that day. While I prefer processing a concept thoroughly through the week, I also enjoy the challenge of writing to a title that just comes up.
As I was walking through one of Universal’s theme parks one day, I saw a lady wearing a shirt with a message that Stuck with me. The shirt read, “no rain, no flowers.” That was a thought I could write on.
This week, we search the meaning in four simple words written on a random person’s t-shirt! Here goes five random reflections:
Views Out the Window
Storms moved in around 3:00 p.m. this evening and have hung around ever since. Good news is…I have time to write this post. Bad news is…it puts a damper on the evening, which happens to be our last one here. Rain can do that to a vacation, it can also do it to people. All we tend to do is gaze out the window and wait for it to stop.
In leadership, we walk through rainy days. Days that can turn into seasons if we are not careful. Staring out the window of leadership, it is difficult for leaders to see the potential beyond the rain. We become selfishly focused on what we cannot do rather than what we can do once the rain stops. Rainy days of leadership can severely limit our visibility if we get stuck staring out of the window and into the rain.
Rain makes you wait, especially when you have an outdoor activity planned. We as humans have difficulty waiting. Waiting produces impatience and boredom. Plants do not produce flowers quickly, it is a patient process to develop the beautiful end product. It doesn’t just rain and poof…a flower. There is a necessary process that takes place before the flower can bloom.
Too often, we become impatient during seasons of waiting in leadership. We tend to stand still and become bored. The waiting may be for a promotion, job transition, or for a rainy season to come to a desired end. In those moments of waiting lies great opportunities to invest in yourself. Read books, listen to Podcasts, and watch leadership videos. Invest in yourself while waiting so when the rain clears, you are ready to enjoy what the better weather has to offer.
Every Storm Runs Out of Rain
Music is a great teacher for life. County music artist Gary Allan sings a song called, “Every Storm.” The chorus of the song is repeated several times and says, “Every storm, runs out of rain.”
This song provides a promise that can apply to our leadership worlds in times of uncertain conditions. No storm we walk through has enough rain to last forever. It may feel like it during the storm, but it isn’t possible. Storms will always come, but they will always go. We just have to have the patience to wait them out.
Rain is a necessary step in the process for a plant to bear fruit (the flower). While to this point in the post, rain has been portrayed as negative, it is essential for a plant to produce its fruit, the flower. Although rain can put a damper on today, it can produce colorful, bountiful harvests that bring life to this world.
We grow more in rainy days of our leadership journey than we ever will through sun shiny days. It’s just a matter of perspective. We may prefer the days where everything falls into place and the plan comes together, but those days do not produce fruit in our leadership journeys. It is the days full of chaos, disappointment, hurt, and failure that shape us as leaders. Those seasons bear valuable fruit later on in the life of a leader.
You do not have to be a horticulturist to understand that plants need the right environment and nutrients to grow. A quick Google search labels a horticulturist as, “an expert in cultivation and management of plants.” In order to be good at cultivating plants, you know fundamentally that water is required for it to grow. Growth produces flowers.
In our organizations, we are the lead horticulturists. You could modify that definition to, “an expert in cultivation and LEADERSHIP of PEOPLE.” We must cultivate the right conditions for growth in our organizations. It is easy to isolate growth to one meaning, positional. Growth is so much more than positional. Effective leaders can grow people right where they are planted. Give them the love, care, and development opportunities they need and desire right where they are. They will bloom just like flowers with the right conditions.
I inherited a green thumb from my Paw Paw. Some of you inherited an innate ability to kill plants! The great thing about leadership is we have a choice on whether we want to be the person that breathes life into our team or sucks the life out of them. To provide the rain, to produce the flowers.
When we provide the essential nourishment for our people to grow, the investment results in a beautiful end product. One that looks like a bouquet of flowers. A bouquet of people that are uniquely different, complementary varieties, and form an overall organizational masterpiece that will position both you and them for success.
Remember, no rain, no flowers. Be the great cultivator of people in your organization.