Does your team have a “weeds” problem?

weedsYard work can provide some interested leadership inspiration.  This week while mowing my yard I came across this scene from the landscaping along the side of my house.  As you can see from the photo, an unwanted visitor had invaded my flowers….WEEDS!

It took some time to remove them.  And as I fought them and their roots some interesting leadership thoughts occurred to me.  “People weeds” can emerge in your team and can cause the same damage to the health of your team as plant weeds can to your flowers.  And in both instances, both negatively impact the results you are trying to accomplish.  Consider these three truths:

People Weeds start small and grow quickly.
I mow my yard about every 10-14 days.  I was shocked at how quickly the weeds had grown in that short time frame.  In our teams, can’t the same truth occur?  An innocent misunderstanding or disappointment – if left unattended – can manifest into a deeply-held negative mindset that colors every interaction with others.  And over time, those hurts and misguided beliefs grow into a perceived “reality” and your people weed is now a fixture on your team.

People Weeds can snuff out your healthy team members.
It’s interesting.  If you examine a weed in your garden or flowers you will notice the roots of a weed live right alongside the roots of your healthy vegetation. They share the same soil and moisture as your good plants which means they are stealing the very nutrients your plants need to survive.  Slowly they snuff out life.  Wow…what about the complainers, slackers and chronically negative team members?  How much life and energy are they snuffing out in your team?

Removing People Weeds is hard.
I must admit, it took some time to completely remove the weeds that had tangled themselves among my flowers.  None of them removed easily from the soil and my back was a little weary the next day for the extra work.  Isn’t that also true for the people weeds on our team?  They can be difficult to deal with but the longer they stay embedded on your team, the more danger they are to everyone they touch.  Will it take time to address this poor behavior?  Yes.  Will it involve some tough conversations?  Absolutely.  But for your team’s sake, you have to commit to the task.

So, I’m curious.  As you read this week’s article, did any names pop into your head?  If they did, guess what…you know where your next gardening project needs to be.  Not sure where to start?  We can help.  In fact, it’s the very thing we like to do at Organization Impact.  Call us.  We’ve got some great gardening tools to get you started.

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