The Environment for Personal Renewal
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week, I shared my wonder and excitement about the renewal I see all around me in nature. I spoke about the value the plants and trees get from the long winter rest and the amazing colors we see around us. Today, I would like us to look into the role the environment plays in this amazing time of renewal.

As the days become longer and the sun gently warms our region of this amazing earth, life begins to emerge. Slowly, we see early-season bulbs pushing through the matted mulch, and trees begin to set buds. If the days stay warm, the new growth continues its march toward summer. If the days cool down, the new growth slows and almost stops. A good friend of mine shared that two weeks ago, he could almost see the buds opening on a tree at this home. The days were in the low eighties, and the trees were bathed in brilliant sunshine. I bet if I would drive to his house near the orchards south of Syracuse, the same tree hasn’t progressed much because the days and nights have been much colder. Until the environment gets back to sunshine and warmth, the march toward summer will be more like a crawl.

As we look to benefit from our needed rest and downtime, we also need to make sure the environment for growth remains optimal. In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell gives us some hints for maintaining nurturing soil for our growth.

Answer the following questions for yourself:

  1. Music – What songs lift me?
  2. Thoughts – What ideas speak to me?
  3. Experiences – What experiences rejuvenate me?
  4. Friends – What people encourage me?
  5. Recreation – What activities revive me?
  6. Soul – What spiritual exercises strengthen me?
  7. Hopes – What dreams inspire me?
  8. Home – What family members care for me?
  9. Giftedness – What blessings activate me?
  10. Memories – What recollections make me smile?
  11. Books – What have I read that changed me?

As leaders, we need to take responsibility for the growth environment we are in. These questions will allow us to ensure we have more warm sunny days than cold, dreary ones. With a bit of intentionality, our growth can take off.

Next week we will look at creating a growth environment for our teams