The Flexible Oak

Unconditional Presence: The Oak Tree was an article last week from one of my favorite newsletters, The Daily Groove by Scott Noelle.  Noelle is an amazing Parent Coach — and oh, how I wish I could be the parent he writes about!  

As a leadership coach, however, his article today really caught me. On the one hand I agree completely, especially in the context and spirit with which it was written.  Oh, to be that rooted, that grounded, that confident in one’s position!  As a parent, it has great value and gives your children a solid, safe & stable foundation to push against. The question I began asking myself, however, is whether this translates equally to leadership. After all, doesn’t leadership call on us to be flexible — at least on some level? Even if, as a leader, I am not “standing against you,” or taking your behavior personally, if someone runs into us, into our vision, into our ‘leadership,” we don’t want to damage them in any way. We don’t want them to get hurt.

When is it right for a leader to be solid like an Oak Tree — and when should we be more flexible, bending with the influence of your team, of lessons learned, or of direct challenges? Leadership challenges us to walk a weird and fine line between a solid oak standing powerfully in its position, and the flexibility that allows you, your team, and your organization to adapt. After all, Darwin taught us: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

What does it look like for you to be a solid, flexible, and adaptable oak? It’s a tough question.

If you want to work on this together, contact me for a free consultCoaching is an amazing way to work on those tough questions.