As mentioned in past blogs I started a new hobby this year producing maple syrup. The season culminated this morning by enjoying some home made maple syrup on our pancakes for Easter brunch! It was very tasty and extremely satisfying.

After the first season I wanted to share a few leadership lessons learned from my initial year of maple syrup production.

  1. Shared vision is powerful and engaging

I have been talking about maple syrup production with anyone that would listen for the past 6 months. Painting a clear picture of possibilities with your friends or work associates will engage them and provide shared enthusiasm toward the achievement of the goal. Great things can then happen!

  1. Focus on things you can control

The weather plays a major factor in maple syrup production, so you just have to go with what God provides. There are many things in business and in life that we can’t control. No reason to lose any sleep over these things.

  1. It takes a lot of hard work to produce some significant results

It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. No major accomplishments in life or in business generally come easy. Be willing to put in the necessary effort for success.

  1. It is all about relationships

I had a ton of fun working with family and friends on marking maple trees in the fall, tapping trees in the spring, collecting and delivering sap, and then seeing it evaporated into syrup. Now I can’t wait to share the finished product. I encourage you to nurture your relationships in all aspects of your life.

  1. Celebrate Success

Even though it was a very down year from the standpoint of sap production due to the quick acceleration of spring weather, Easter brunch with our first year’s production of maple syrup was a great celebration for our family. I can’t wait to celebrate with all those involved with this year’s production. Take time to celebrate successes with your family, friends, and work associates.

After cleaning up all the supplies and logging production I have now turned my focus to improvements for next year. As in everything it is important to learn from past experiences and figure out how to improve. I am more engaged than ever and can’t wait to see what next year brings. I know one thing for sure. No matter what the outcome from a production standpoint the journey will be worth the ride!

Mark Deterding