So here we are. Part 2 of the Changing Leaf story where we go a little deeper on the meaning behind the name. As mentioned in my June post, the story involves a painting (yes the one on the left!), a personal commitment and the tale of an organization struggling to raise the lid on its leadership effectiveness. So where to begin? Let's go back 5 years, in a galaxy not so far away...
I remember having a conversation with a colleague of mine, I'll call him Gus, well because that was his name, and still is. We were both facilitating leadership development courses for our organization at the time. We desired to create clarity around the type of work environment we wanted to work in and the type of positive leadership behaviours that were needed for such an environment to exist. We wrote a 'Personal Commitment' statement titled Manufacturing Hope and Inspiring Trust. It has 7 statements of commitment one of which says, "I aspire to create a work environment that is truly collaborative and one that is based on trust and mutual respect." These statements inspired, informed and influenced how we facilitated leadership development and coached leaders and are still relevant today.
Fast forward one year when a mutual colleague, who I will call Mike, (yes, you guessed it! That's his name) was challenged by me to paint a visual representation of this 'Personal Commitment' statement. The painting above, which I have come to simply refer to as 'Hope', is what Mike created. When asked to explain the painting I was thrilled to hear what he had to say. Mike shared that the mature trees on the sides represent the seasoned leaders in the organization and their deep roots represent the values that promote growth, integrity and significance. The growing sapling is the emerging potential leaders who will thrive and grow in the proper conditions while under the watchful caring and helpful guidance of our seasoned leaders. And of course the light represents energy, excitement and positive influence that is needed for people to thrive in a hopeful inspiring work environment. Amazing!
Fast forward again another 3 years and I am in a position to open my own organization focused on developing leaders. I had recently returned from my certification training with the John Maxwell Team. My wife and I are driving down the road on a fall day brainstorming possible company names and she says "What about Changing Leaf?" She reminded me of the personal commitment statement written several years ago and the painting that represented these unchanging truths. It was perfect.
And so, this is the completed story of how these events inspired the name Changing Leaf, an organization dedicated to developing leaders who create confidence and inspire trust. How will you manufacture hope and inspire trust in your work environments this week?