Something Old | Something New

Growing up, we always had a garden. We had vegetables, from squash to tomatoes. We had fruit: strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes. But prized above all were the roses.

We lived in several different houses throughout my childhood, but my mother always built a rose garden. Nothing extravagant, just a line of beautiful rose bushes of different colors. 

In the house we finally settled down in, we had a big front porch built on a hill, so the deck was actually a good five feet from the ground. Covering the posts were walls of lattice which the roses climbed up. It was beautiful.

I loved these roses, so you can see how I didn't quite understand when I walked out one day to see my mother cutting leaves off the bushes. I was shocked.

But she quickly explained to me the concept of pruning. You have to cut off dead leaves or even just excess vines for the plant to be the healthiest, to bloom beautifully next season, and to maintain the direction in which the plant grows. 

By cutting the junk off the roses, she was actually allowing them to grow into even more beautiful bushes the next year.

We as leaders are the same, as are our organizations and projects.

First think about yourself as an individual. Throughout life, you have to evaluate your circumstances, what you're doing, and who you are for things that are toxic, stunting your growth, or holding you back. 

Sometimes it's painful to make these cuts. Sometimes you don't see the benefit right away. But eventually you see improvement in the area you left yourself to grow, in the absence of things that were holding you back. 

Our teams and projects are similar. Sometimes it's people that need to be cut, unfortunately. Sometimes it's legs of our operation that are no longer serving their intended purpose. Sometimes it's a negative morale that needs to be addressed. 

There are so many working parts to our personal lives and to the lives of our organizations. It's important to constantly be evaluating what's happening and be open to change. Sometimes cuts will be necessary, sometimes new vision must be cast. Sometimes room must be made for the increase that is coming.

Ask yourself, what areas of my life need to be pruned of the excess, toxic, or outdated? What about my team? Are there things not working properly that might need a little tender love and care, maybe even some cutting and reworking?

Here at Trailblazer, we like to ask ourselves all the same questions we're asking you. Personally, my favorite thing about writing these blog posts is that I get to think through ways I can grow as a person and a leader, and as I've written these posts, I think I have improved.

So as we ask ourselves this question of change, we've found ourselves at an interesting conclusion: Things are changing.

We have loved the format we have provided thus far, but 2018 is bringing bigger and better things, for us and for you. To prepare for that, things are going to change. 

If you're up to date on the podcast, you heard Benji announce that The Trail Head Podcast will be hitting pause to prepare for our new format of seasons. Instead of posting every week, we will be releasing regular seasons of content to you guys. We believe this will allow us to offer better, more helpful content.

We are beyond excited to step into 2018 with new plans to deliver fresh new content. We hope you'll join us in this journey of taking the hard leaps to embrace change and make room for better things to come.