We wrapped up another fabulous Maple Syrup Season on Saturday. This was our 4th year and each season seems to be more fun and rewarding than the last. The rewards are not about the amount of syrup we produce, but instead about the relationships formed, enhanced, and solidified!
This season produced the following servant leadership lessons:
1) A Shared Vision Drives Passion
We had a significantly important reason to have a successful harvest. My son is getting married this summer and he and his fiancé wanted to give out pure maple syrup for favors. Having this additional incentive definitely provided more passion and interest in our activities. Everyone was actively engaged to insure that we accomplished the goal of having enough syrup for the wedding. The more compelling your purpose, and vision the more passion you will have in your workplace!
2) Energy is Powerful and Important
Our vision and goals for the year certainly provided energy, but other things did as well. We had some new young generation helpers this year. They initially needed specific training and guidance so they would not be frustrated as they started. I shared with them how important they were to the process and we couldn’t accomplish the mission without them. As they caught on, I allowed them to work on their own and develop their own methods for collecting sap. And I cheered them on every step of the way, letting them know what an awesome job they were doing. These youngsters now can’t wait for next year! Clarifying Purpose & Vision, providing appropriate training, letting people know how critical they are to success, putting them in control of the goal, and cheering them on will enhance energy in the workplace!
3) It’s fun to Improve Performance
We have improved our production output and efficiency each year through improved processes and procedures. Everyone involved likes to know how much better we are doing this year than last. Keeping score on appropriate metrics will drive passion and performance in the workplace!
4) It’s all about Teamwork and Relationships
This business would not be fun at all if I did it entirely on my own. The best part is enhancing my relationships with my family and friends as we work side-by-side out in God’s creation. What I remember each year is the time spent together building relationships with these special people, not so much how much syrup we produced. Focusing on teamwork and people within the workplace is significant work and is really the most important aspect of leadership!
5) Have Fun along the Journey
I work extremely hard during these 4 weeks each year. But I look forward to this time more than any other time of the year, because it is so fun spending time with people in a unique environment, producing something that folks really enjoy. We make the work fun by sharing responsibilities, fixing unique meals, having friends over for games & social time, and including all ages of friends and family. We all view this as a labor of love and enjoyment as opposed to work. Making the work environment fun will add to people’s passion towards the accomplishment of the purpose and vision!
The pancakes and ice cream sure taste good with the fruits of our labor poured over it! Sharing it with those who have participated in the production is even that much better!!
For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Deuteronomy 16:15