When you start using senses you’ve neglected, your reward is to see the world with completely fresh eyes. – Barbara Sher
Have you ever used your five senses – taste, smell, touch, hear, see – to describe your leadership? Here’s what the experience is like for me:
Leadership tastes like sweat. Leadership is always hard work, no matter what level you rise to. It is not supposed to get easier, the rewards just get bigger.
Leadership smells like fresh cut grass. It smells like constant renewal. One of my favorite things to do is drive around the countryside when farmers are beginning to harvest hay. I grew up in a rural community; I’ve hauled a lot of hay in my life and I love that smell of cut grass – especially when it’s one hundred or five hundred acres of it. It smells like hard work.
Leadership feels like soft hands on a rough surface. Great leaders have a soft touch, but understand that they are going to have to deal with hard, rough surfaces. Your hands may get a little scraped up, but you know they have got to remain soft to lead well.
Leadership sounds like laughter. When you hear your team laughing together from across the office, you know they can conquer most everything that comes at them. Laughter is the sound of success.
Leadership looks like recess in the first grade. Do you remember back when you were younger and all the kids still played with each other? Groups or cliques hadn’t formed yet. Whatever game was being played, everybody was all in. Leadership looks like first grade recess because it looks like outstanding collaboration with no walls, prejudices or barriers.
Question: If you had to describe leadership using the five senses, what would that look like for you?