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NATURE: Our Best Teacher for Leadership Effectiveness

great nature

Take a walk in nature and REMEMBER what you need to know to be more effective. As you put one foot in front of the next, start tuning into the sounds around you. At first you will notice a few birds chirping. And then you will hear more. And again even more. Eventually you will be enveloped by a cacophony of sounds that you did not even sense when you began on your path.

This is exactly what happened on my walk yesterday in Valley Forge National Park. I am always amazed at what I hear when I directly connect with where I am, rather than listening to the repetitive tapes in my head. Once again, nature reminds me that to be a good leader, teacher, coach, parent, daughter, sibling, friend, we must take the time to listen, listen more, and listen again. We have got to “tune in” to the human being in front of us. Having rushed through much of my life, I am learning that the real richness lies in the details; I have missed so many of them over the years.

My favorite, leadership book of all times, John Heider’s The Tao of Leadership, applies the wisdom of Lao Tzu’s seminal work, the Tao Te Ching. The simple but profound teachings remind us all to allow and honor the process or way, whatever that maybe, just as nature does. Next time you take a walk, truly relish in the music that awaits you. It just may make you more effective when you sit down at your desk the next morning.

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