Searching for Buds
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer            

My wife is an amazing gardener. When you walk up to the front of our home, you would think you are walking in a park somewhere. This past Saturday I took a few minutes to walk around the plantings and look for buds. I love doing this because it’s a precursor to what is to come in just a few days. Sometimes it is hard to find the buds because they are very small. We have several varieties of hydrangeas and sometimes it is hard to tell if what I am seeing are new leaves starting or actual buds which will soon burst into blossoms. I need to look very closely to tell the difference.

As a leader, one of our primary roles is to look for buds. Who on our team is the next person to blossom? Just as when I am examining the hydrangeas, we need to look very carefully at each team member. Sometimes those buds are hard to find, but with patience and intentionality, you can see them if you are looking hard enough.

There are also times when buds need to be protected from harshness in the environment. I have a few young apple trees, and the blossoms can easily be killed off by freezing temperatures. Last year we had a late freeze and almost all the apple blossoms were killed off, eliminating the possibility of fruit. A drive through the orchards near our home will reveal giant fans and smudge pots to move air and provide smoke on frosty nights to protect the apple blossoms. Seasoned orchard keepers know when to start the pots and fans to protect the fragile blossoms.  Are we monitoring the environment that our team members are in, and are we ready to protect them from harsh elements until they are hearty enough to face them on their own?

As we move into summer let’s be looking for the next team member who breaks onto the scene and really shines. Please be sure to let me know who you find on your team. We can all share in the excitement.

Looking for more on this topic? Check out tomorrow’s episode of The Next Page—a new podcast designed to further discuss my weekly blog. Subscribe on iTunes and listen in every Thursday.