A lot has come from a four-day retreat I led with my friend Greer Van Dyck for last year’s OIA Skip Yowell Leadership class outside the little Colorado town of Meredith. Like I know most of the folks are doing, I’m also still processing what was all shared. Lucky for you, or not depending I suppose on how you view my random thoughts, I’ll be sharing some of what came up.
In the meantime, to get to Colorado and back with Katie and our two kids we drove our van. Along the way, K was reading the book There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk. Her review is both positive and critical. Positive in that the author’s intent that we shouldn’t be too comfortable to go outside even when it’s not sunny is good, critical in that her opinion borders at times on condescending.
That said, on page 30 Åkeson McGurk brings up an interesting idea:
Unlike in the US, where private property rights are king, and land use tends to be ruled by the risk for potential lawsuits and the premise that if something can go wrong it probably will, allemansträtten relies on an honor system that can simply be summed up with the phrase ‘Do not disturb, do not destroy.’
Sure, the context there is about land. It doesn’t seem too far of a stretch though for me to take it into our work and into leadership. Something in fact that came up in Colorado had to do with the balance of process and trust. Speaking for myself, the less I trusted the folks on my team, the more processes I put in place. Not ideal. I needed to trust more, control less. Then manage the results to make sure everyone is being responsible for their work. Sometimes tough, but always possible. Also, ideal.
Maybe I, heck the proverbial ‘we,’ can learn a thing or two from the Swedes approach to land. Clearly, there are huge benefits to trusting the people and creating a space where responsibility (forgive the expression) rules.