Today I was on a Leadership and Management course with my Oak Lee Management team. For those of you who don’t know me, I own two Nurseries and have a team of 45 wonderful people who work with me. The Management team is made up of 8 people, including me. We, as a team, had identified that this training would provide us all with the professional development we needed to support us to deliver our roles more effectively. I had no real expectation of what the day would be like or what the outcome would be, particularly as this is the first time all 8 of us had ever attended a course together. I have however attended a few leadership and management courses over the past 20 years!
The trainer was brilliant and she created an environment which enabled us to talk, discuss, reflect and review as well as share experiences, thoughts and ideas. What was even better was that we did just that! We were open with each other and we realised some very key fundamental factors; we respect each other, we value each other, we care about each other and we enjoy working together as part of the whole entity that is Oak Lee. We also share the same vision of making Oak Lee the best place to work and for the children to learn, develop and feel loved and secure.
There were many points and actions we came away with today which we will begin to implement over the course of this year but the one key ‘wow’ moment for me was this very simple fact; WE ARE DIFFERENT and that’s a bonus. It’s not just okay to be different, it’s actually important to be different. We are forever looking for similarities and finding comfort in being the same as someone else or having the same habits, feelings and ideas. So we miss the importance of being different. Being different enables us to see the world with a different perspective. It enables us to provide a view which may not have been considered before. It enables us to think of solving problems in different ways.
Pioneers and entrepreneurs are people who think differently. How can I make this statement or justify it? Well this type of person will think of a different ways of solving a problems. They will take risks and be confident that their way of solving it is the right way or at least a way that no on else has thought of. They will invest time and energy to take that leap of faith to make changes. Take for instance James Dyson. His ability to think of a solution to a problem has revolutionised how many of our common household items work. Perhaps if Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg had not thought about how to solve a problem ‘differently’ then we may not have the world we have today.
So let’s stop seeing being different as a negative and instead look for it, encourage it, value it and use it.