Yes, you can learn from the good examples of teenage girls—you just have to find the right kind of teenager.
This summer I was lucky to spend four days in the great outdoors helping out at a religious Girls’ Camp located in the mountains surrounding the Salt Lake Valley. Twenty-two young women—ages 12 to 18 years old—and their five adult leaders attended, my wife and youngest daughter included.
I absolutely enjoyed staying in the mountains—the green aspens, the pine trees, the brilliance of the stars, the earthy smells of flowers and trees. I also learned some valuable business lessons from my fellow campers.
Get along—no fighting! This might sound odd, considering it was a camp full of teenage girls, but everyone got along. There were no petty disagreements or bigger arguments. They reached beyond their immediate circle of friends and included others. Older girls gladly welcomed the youngest ones into their group of friends.
Are we welcoming to all employees? Do we have petty disagreements or arguments in our business groups? It is easy to become angry at a fellow co-worker, business partner, family member or vendor. If we learned to control our anger better, we could open communication channels more clearly and talk through our differences. Through hard experience, I’ve learned that often when disputes arise it is the result of miscommunication.
Willingly adjust your plans. At camp, scheduled activities didn’t always go as planned. Last minute adjustments needed to be made for activities to succeed. Instead of being grumpy and bugged, the girls and their adult leaders just adapted to the changes.
In business we make all sorts of plans to help our companies grow. Even though our business plans are soundly created and carefully crafted, sometimes they fail and need to be adjusted. How do you react to failures and adjustments? As a business leader you can choose to react to challenges in a way that inspires support and trust instead of fear and worry among your co-workers.
Take time to relax. The young women live very busy lives and have much to concentrate on—sports, academic achievements, music study, jobs. They stayed busy at camp, preparing and cleaning up meals, hiking, learning first aid and survival skills and performing service. They were also asked to put away their cell phones and concentrate on nature and relaxing with friends. Surprisingly enough every girl readily complied with the no cell phone request. When I complied with the “no technology” rule, it was rejuvenating. It felt good to be more disconnected, not checking email and text every few minutes.
We need to find a little more time in our busy lives to sit back, relax and take in the beauty around us. To reflect and think. To clear our minds. To focus more clearly on the important facets of our family, friends, religion and business. You can try disconnecting and relaxing in the mountains, at the lake, in the community park or on your own front porch. Just remember to leave your technology behind!
This article was written by Dave R