The word, “Summer” conjures up a myriad of thoughts, ideas, feelings.
It might evoke thoughts of ……
By gone days.
Picnics in the past, spent under a shady tree while the warm breeze rustles the sun dappled leaves. Or in the cool peaceful breeze of the patio.
For the under 20’s perhaps Summer brings the more ‘urgent and now’ feelings of where to go, Right Now!
Perhaps water skiing around a 15 mile island in the bracing waters off the Canadian shores,
or for some the challenge of hiking in the Cascades or Rockies is a great Summer pastime.
But if you’re in the midst of winter, as we are in the Southern Hemisphere, then Summer might just be a tantalizing lure.
As artists, to paint Summer scenes with authenticity, we need to fully immerse ourselves in that place. To be in that moment. So that the viewer, might also feel the Summer warmth shine upon them as well.
In a survey of 2,000 employees, Bain & Company found that among 33 leadership traits — including creating compelling objectives, expressing ideas clearly, and being receptive to input — the ability to be mindfully present (also called centeredness) is the most essential of all.
Research also suggests that there’s a direct correlation between leaders’ mindfulness and the well-being and performance of their people.
In other words, the more a leader is present with their people, the better they will perform.
Every morning, Conant allocated a good chunk of his time to walking around the plant, greeting people, and getting to know them.
He would memorize their names and the names of their family members.
He would take a genuine interest in their lives.
To Conant, these behaviors were not just strategies to enhance productivity; they were heartfelt efforts to support his people.
As I read the HBR article, I found myself nodding in agreement. That Conant chose to take an active interest in the lives of his employees was interesting.
It was also a sharp and vivid reminder to me of a previous long term, employer of my spouse.
He also, took an active participation in his employees’ lives.
A genuine, concerned interest.
What this did, was ensure the entire family was invested in the company and its success.
We, and even the children, were on board with travel and the long hours the job entailed.
I look back and think, what a smart man.
But also, more importantly, how truly, kind he was.
These leaders are fully engaged and present; and yes, they do get the most from their workforce.
Art is not in Isolation
You might think it odd, I find quotes and articles from business publications and don’t stick to “arts and crafts.”
But, I’ve found we really can’t isolate areas so easily. One bleeds over into the other.