When creating a Martini, the taste differs depending on whether you shake or stir the ingredients. In a similar way, the results in life and business vary depending on how we treat the situation.
A while ago, I noticed a young, growing tree placed perfectly in the middle of three, older and bigger, surrounding trees. It was growing straight, not leaning on the older trees, the mature ones didn’t carry any weight of the young one but, definitely, from their position they were protecting it in many ways from external forces.
This reminded me of how we best support each other – and lead. Supporting by being available, by being there to reach out for, by being in the perimeter for us to spot potential issues to ask into, but also allowing space.
Not carrying each other’s load. Not allowing others to lean too heavily on us for extended periods of time. Not removing obstacles in others’ way before they even become aware of them. Not being invisible. Not shaking the tree or stirring the pot by being in their face or by looking over their shoulder constantly. But still being visible.
The best way of supporting is neither shaking nor stirring. Instead, as we stay calm, grounded and with a relevant distance, we are able to see and hear what’s really needed. Trusting the others to work their way through the situation, with us there at an arm’s reach. Like the three, wise trees. And the lucky young one.