5 for 5 blog – My nemesis, taraxacum officinale!

16 May


Meet taraxacum officinale…….the common dandelion. And yes, this time of year, it is my nemesis.

They are everywhere. Good thing I live just down the street from my kids’ elementary school. All kids love to blow the little seeds high up in the air, further ensuring the survival of this pest.

My daughter especially loves to do this. She will race ahead of us on a walk, grab a huge handful, and blow with all of her might. A couple of weeks ago, we were walking up to school for an open house and as usual, she was having a blast clearing the path ahead of us of any dandelion that might be in our way. I gave her a hard time, regretfully, about blowing those across the neighborhood. Sure she stopped doing it for the rest of the night, but what was I teaching her….don’t have fun? Don’t be yourself? (Ridiculous, I know. I have apologized for this.)

The point is how often as leaders do we say that we want to encourage development, ideas,  and creativity, only to either knowingly or unknowingly squelch that in our teams through not committing resources, time, or inspiration. All the while, ultimately training our teams that sharing information and insights  isn’t valued, so they stick with the program and do what is expected. It’s no wonder then that leaders get frustrated and wonder why there are no new ideas flowing their teams. It is a vicious cycle, all because ideas can sometimes be a little messy

And while taraxacum officinale is still my nemesis, they still do make beautiful flowers. As leaders, we need to be the chief encouragers of our teams to try new things. If it makes a mess, we can clean it up. But if we continuously snuff out the spirit of creativity and fun, we’ll never see the flowers.

So as I told my daughter, go ahead, blow those seeds all over….as leaders, we need to inspire ideas and learning….and heaven forbid, some fun.

If you make mess, get the lawnmower.

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Fueled By Optimism – by Becky Burton – via Holstee

Calling your finding – by Seth Godin

The Anti–To-Do List – by L.V. Anderson – via Slate

Advice from Artists on How to Overcome Creative Block, Handle Criticism, and Nurture Your Sense of Self-Worth – by Maria Popova – via Brain Pickings

For Leaders, Soft is the New Strong – by Rachel Mendelowitz – via Medium

All the best, kevin