I’ll Never Bring You Flowers

Maybe I was who Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand were singing about in “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers“.

I think giving someone flowers is pretty messed up. Sure, they are pretty to look at. But what does it say about us when we give a person something that is dying and tell them that it is beautiful?

In the working world, Managers give people flowers (metaphorically). They will source the best florists to procure the freshest bouquets with the most radiant colours. They will form a long-term relationship and even negotiate a great price. And people will seem to enjoy the flowers, until they wither and die and need to be replaced.

The Leader does not give people flowers. The Leaders gives people seeds and soil. And every time the Leader hands over the watering can she is saying, I want you to grow a little more. I want this to be sustainable. I want something that, if cared for properly and nurtured in the right way, will continue to bloom over and over in its life. Would it be easier to just buy flowers that will die? Sure. But LEADERSHIP is about promoting growth even when it is hard work, not handing over something that is dying but looks pretty to start and asking people to keep it alive as long as possible.

We need more seeds and soil and less prepackaged bouquets.

 

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About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.


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