Author’s note: This is the fifth in a series of articles about the leadership lessons learned while hiking Usery Mountain with my 17-year-old son.
There comes a time on a hike in the desert when you stumble, perhaps literally, on an unexpected oasis. When I came across this lush, green patch of grass on the north side of the mountain, I was taken aback. While the grays, beiges and browns are beautiful in their own right, the colors were drab compared to the vibrant hues that sprung unexpectedly from this protected patch.
If you’ve been following these posts, you’ll recall that my son and I were on a tight timeline: he had a flight to catch in a couple of hours.
So part of me wanted to rush right past this oasis.
But the wiser side of me said “Rest a little, enjoy this sanctuary if only for a moment.”
And so I did.
And so should you.
In the midst of harried deadlines and busyness it is easy to cruise right past an obvious place for a rest. When the most powerful currency is time, the rational mind becomes frugal with moments of pleasure. And if we as leaders cannot stop for a few moments and soak in the pleasure, the fruits of our labor, then we must ask ourselves what it is all for.
This is exactly why we lead.
For these moments.
It might be when your team reaches a hard fought milestone.
It might be when you see a market opportunity and jump on it before the competition.
Or it might be with someone on your staff: a sales team member who blows away her sales target for the quarter, a new customer service manager who handles a difficult conversation with an angry customer with aplomb, or your assistant who anticipates your needs and adeptly handles situations before they rise to your attention.
Rest a moment in those moments. Drink them in and let them nourish you.
This patch of vitality, the lush, green vibrant grass in the middle of the desert, is what it is all about.
And when we rush by, without stopping for a moment or three to take it in, we dishonor the hard work we’ve done and the efforts and the accomplishments of those around us.
So take a moment.
You’ve earned. It.