Every Friday at 8 am I get pruned. The band gets together to share our learning for the week, and invariably it’s the newest builders who are challenged to present their week’s awakening or challenge. Together we ask curious questions and unpack what we are dealing with as builders, and what we are dealing with as we are being built.
Like you, we are working to make our core stronger. Like you, we are authoring and chasing our OPUS. Like you, we need to be held accountable, check our blind spots, and remain in our challenge zone. Like you, we can’t do it alone. Sometimes when the pruning is done, I feel like a weeping willow; other times I feel like a tall oak. Like yours, our pruning often hurts.
Whether leading a company, business unit, team, family, or ourselves, none of us is a perfectly formed leadership structure. Most of us have an unwanted facet or three that are inhibiting our current form and impeding our growth. Pruning is an ongoing process, keeping limbs at the appropriate length, allowing the light to shine where it is needed, and forming a beautifully structured leadership tree. Being pruned isn’t fun, but it is necessary if you want to become the best version of your leadership self.
What does a well pruned leader look like? For me, Kipling’s “If” nails it pretty well. There’s not enough room for all of it here, so I’ll just get your started:
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise …
When’s your next pruning?