Creating Meadows & Brooks in a pandemic

Last week we started with a series pegged on a young Shepherd boy’s experience, expressed in a poem.

The young lad grew to be king of a great nation and left a legacy of humility and leadership that the 21st Century CEO can learn age-old lessons from.

If you missed out opener, here is a link to it – The Shepherd CEO

This week, we explore Creating Meadows & Brooks and our guiding text is:

He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. (The Passion Translation)

Let’s start with some definitions.

Meadow is a low lying land covered with green grass (green fields), and sometimes flowers. It is usually a space that has almost no pollution or harmful substances or things.

A brook is a stream of water that is usually flowing slower than a river and it is smaller than a river. Nonetheless, it mostly has fresh water and it is refreshing being at a brook.

As a shepherd CEO, you can provide such an environment for your team and for yourself by working at your culture. Culture is the DNA of an organisation. Rules, policies and processes and systems are only as effective as the culture they are founded on.

A culture is a way of life. A way of doing things. It will usually be reflected by how you and your team relate with each other, how you work, how you treat your customers, how you and your team talk about your business. Culture can’t be denied. It’s almost like a walking style.

And because it is like a walking style, it can be learnt and adjusted to bad or good and that is the work of the leader.

A shepherd CEO must shape the culture of the organisation he/ she is leading.

There are companies where people work for years because it is like a second home. On the other hand there are some companies whose staff leave so frequently that they even have budgets set aside for the recruitment process.

Hear are some reasons why a peaceful, nurturing and refreshing work environment is effective towards achieving your overall goals as a business:

  • You can’t divorce work and home life. With people spending more time at their professions or places of work (whether virtually or physically), the workplace or business has become a second home to many people. As such, the environment of work must accommodate the dynamics that come with having people as the driving agent of your achievements. This includes having clear goals, equitable (equal is not possible) terms of engagement, defined metrics to measure output, availing required resources to deliver expected results, have respect for each other, as well as accommodate diversity of opinions and ideas.
  • Nurture creativity: A shepherd CEO realizes early on that he cannot do everything by himself and does not have a monopoly of ideas and suggestions. Creativity implies that people are able to explore various ways to solve problems, make improvements, create new products, explore new channels of revenue generation or reduction of costs.
  • Open communication channels. Organisations that harness the power of flowing information are more likely to be places of less acrimony than those who have a lop-sided or messed up communication process. Operating from the ivory tower where you expect people to come to you and bring you information is an old way of working. The new way of communicating is going to the ground and working with people. Embracing new virtual group working through tools such as Basecamp and Slack is a style that the Shepherd CEO needs to adopt to work with millennials, Generation Y and Z.

It is in the silence and peace that your voice as a leader is known and understood. It is in the storms and tumult that your voice is heard clearly and respond to, even if you are whispering.

COVID19 is a time of difficulty. It makes all other challenges you have had look like child’s play. The Shepherd CEO role is now more in demand than ever before, not to mention the demand for a culture that encourages safety, is considerate of the emotional stress, is willing to do all it can to keep the team productive without further stress points.

Next week it’s all about roadmaps and standards

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

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Wangari Maina

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