Leadership Lessons from the Cottage

During my cottage holiday I enjoyed a blissful moment of absolute tranquility. I was sitting alone, looking out over the river, really just taking it all in when I noticed two woodpeckers, four or five blue jays dive bombing among the trees, squirrels running about their business, sandpipers along the shore… It was all happening around me as if I wasn’t there. Had I been “doing” something, I would have disturbed their habitat and driven them away. The experience would never have presented itself.

In our workplaces, and even in our families, how often do we barrel through our day, too focused on task or time? Are there things that we have disturbed in our haste and ‘activity’? How often do we set aside time to simply observe? What I propose is different than reflective practice which really focuses on yourself, your experiences and what you are learning from them. I am essentially proposing more unobtrusive, direct observation. By simply watching what takes place around us, without interacting, we can see our environment and the relationships within it in a new way.

Maybe with more observation we can retain some of that cottage relaxation as people barrel through fourth quarter!

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

2 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from the Cottage

  1. What a powerful message and so timely. As I take a breath from the busyness of the past year or more I see first hand what you are talking about. It reminds me of the power in “just being still” and open to the gifts that surround us. I enjoyed your post very much.

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