“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” Luke 16:10 NIV
Every other Saturday morning starting at 9:00am, you can find me at my mother’s house mowing her lawn. She always raises the garage door, sits on her walker, and watches me until I’m done. It normally takes me about 90 minutes to do the mowing, trimming and edging. I take tremendous pride in the fact that at least 3 times a year, her lawn is selected as the “Yard of the Month.” People always ask her, “What lawn services do you use?” They are surprised when she says, “My son.” They then ask, “Why does he do it at his age, when he can definitely afford to hire someone else to?” I have asked myself that same question, especially in August when the heat and humidity are in the nineties. I do because of the following three reasons:
When I’m out there, it takes me back to when I was twelve years old. I would get up early on Saturday mornings and cut yards to earn money. I instantly become a kid again time I pull the cord to start the mower. (As a side note, it’s strange how you don’t see boys doing that anymore.) Just like when I was a kid, I still get a tremendous sense of pride when I’m done and look at the yard.
2. It is a great workout and clears my mind. I use a push, not a riding, mower, so I work
up a great sweat while I’m working. In addition, I put on my earphones and listen to
my “Old School” deejay “Youngblood”. I’m in my own world while I’m jamming and
mowing, especially when Youngblood plays “Busting Loose” by Chuck Brown. It’s
amazing how quickly the 90 minutes go by.
3. Most importantly, maintaining my mother’s lawn keeps me humble and grounded.
When you get some money in your pocket, it is very easy to lose touch and forget (1)
where you came from and (2) what really got you to where you are. You start focusing
on the material things. In addition, you get use to people doing everything for you
when you want it done. If you are not careful, you will start “Smoking your own dope”
and getting high on yourself. When that occurs, your downfall is imminent. I know
because it has happened to me.
Staying humble and grounded are critical for leaders, especially ones leading change. Reason being, both traits allow them to effectively engage and build trust with all levels of an organization, especially frontline personnel and middle management. In addition, those two traits, coupled with doing some type of activity that clears the mind, allow leaders to deal with the stress of leading change.
In closing, fall is here and I’m about to transition from mowing to raking. I’m also looking forward to having that “Yard of the Month” sign again.