As the cool breezes come in and the vibrant greens transform into a riot of reds, oranges, and yellows, we welcome the season of fall in the northern hemisphere. Fall is not merely a transition in our environment; it's a metaphor for life, reminding us of life's constant change and the profound significance of choosing to let go of what no longer serves us. In this beautiful transformation, we find guidance for our own lives and leadership.
Letting Go: A Fundamental Choice
Justas the trees must shed their leaves to prepare for the harshness of winter, we, too, must choose what to release from our lives. Fall teaches us that letting go is not a sign of weakness but an essential part of growth. We can't carry the weight of everything forever, just as the trees can't keep their leaves throughout the winter.
We are called to let go of something that has run its course or isn't serving us anymore. We may realize that we need to release someone or something (a job, for example) whose journey is different than ours. Letting go is not a declaration that something is wrong; instead, it's about making room for new possibilities and experiences to take root.
In the process of letting go, we confront decisions that are often far from easy. We must choose what relationships, habits, and beliefs no longer serve us. It might be our very identity that is transforming. It's about recognizing what's essential for our well-being and happiness and having the courage to release the rest. Just as the leaves must fall from the tree, we must continually embrace the art of letting go.
Discovering Renewal in Release
Fallis a powerful metaphor for the choices we face in life—choices about what to let go of so that new opportunities or people can emerge. It’s about patience and faith, allowing the time and space for the new to arrive. It's an acknowledgment of our need to grow and evolve.
The metaphor of fall reminds me of when I decided to leave my 30-year career at The Boeing Company. I loved my job. I invested time, energy, and commitment to the company and my teammates, but like with the fall season, a "cool breeze" came over me, signaling it was time for a change. I could have ignored that feeling - at least for a while. I had to let go of the security my job afforded, my title, and most of all, the exciting projects and people that made getting up every day so interesting. I loved contributing to something much bigger (literally!) than myself. Even still I felt pulled toward anew future.
Justas trees stand bare through the winter, patiently waiting for the arrival of spring's fresh buds, we too can find renewal and growth after we've shed the old. Letting go isn't just about loss; it's about making space for what is next. It is scary when we experience that gap between shedding the old and waiting, not knowing what the opportunity ahead might be - or when it will come.
I am so glad I decided to make the change by leaving Boeing. It wasn't an easy decision by far, and I felt a loss - and still do at times. But, without leaving, I wouldn't have had the time and space to create my own business and Seasons Leadership with Debbie, expanding my reach worldwide and supporting a diversity of leaders. Now, I am contributing in ways that support clients as they accomplish amazing things in various industries and organizations. I am having a blast!
Leaders Let Go to Move Forward
In the realm of leadership, letting go is an important practice to observe. This can mean relinquishing outdated processes to foster an environment where innovation can flourish or recognizing when it's time to empower team members to take on greater responsibilities. Just as individuals must release what no longer serves them, leaders also must guide their teams through transitions, helping them understand the importance of change in achieving collective goals.
As we observe the leaves fall and embrace the changing season, let us be inspired to make conscious choices about what needs to change and what is calling us forward in life and our leadership roles. In doing so, we can discover the beauty of renewal and transformation that lies ahead for us and the organizations we lead.
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