This past week, as a white blanket made everything appear clean and fresh, I watched the wispy white flakes drop from the sky. I am sure those of you on the East coast may be growing tired of snow; and yet, many of us from the South find it a bit fun and refreshing, like the annual ritual before spring comes. Regardless of our love or hate relationships with winter weather, I wanted to draw the correlation between these individual snow flakes and individual human beings.
Every single flake is a unique, never to be replicated, combination of water forming these beautiful geometric crystals. The same is true of us. We are all unique – with different gifts, talents, skills, opinions, ambitions, directions, choices, lives, and futures. It is a sacred responsibility that we, as leaders in our respective organizations, recognize this within ourselves and within our employees. It is our duty to recognize AND to appreciate, foster, and encourage this uniqueness.
Often, we try to coerce people to behave a certain way, and through these valiant attempts to ‘turn the dial’ on performance, we undermine an individual’s abilities to contribute in their own way. We need to stop that!
Our uniqueness is a universal gift we have each been given. We need to see it, value it, and nurture it – within ourselves and our fellow beings on the planet. That is, and will continue to be, our differentiators as individuals, organizations, schools, companies, and nations.