Have you got a flat battery too?

lawn-mower-manAfter the longest, coldest, wettest winter in living memory, and having had snow for Easter, today was the first day I have had both dry grass and a little sunshine.  I looked at it and thought I ought to try to give the lawn the first cut of the year.  A perfect opportunity: I was mentally and a physically ready, had nothing more pressing to do and the weather Gods were on my side… Great!

I had had the battery for the mower on charge a few days ago, so it ought to start shouldn’t it?  I sat on it and turn the key and was greeted with …silence.  The mower had a mind of its own and it wasn’t firing just because I was ready!  It was a  frustrating waste of time.  However it put me in mind of lesson, which I’d like to share with you.

It turns out that lawn mowers and your staff have something in common; they don’t start just ‘cos you are ready.  You need to prime and prepare them, to look after them during the periods when you don’t need them to do anything special if you want them to perform for you when you need them to.  In fact, I suspect lawn mowers are a little easier to to get going than staff morale.  They both  need the right conditions to work for you. 

You have to approach them in the right way; explain what you are trying to do and why it is important; and why it is important to them too.  You have to ensure they have to skills and bandwidth to perform and protect them from criticism whilst you get the program moving forward.  Like cutting the lawn, you perhaps won’t find the best way to do it first time round so you need to learn from your experiences and keep making it easier to do the job.  And once the job is done, you need to ensure they are looked after till the next time you need them!

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