I can’t take much (if any) credit for the landscaping at the Baedke home. What we have going on in the yard is all due to my husband’s hard work. And, if I do say so myself, it’s not too shabby.
I feel pretty good about our yard.
That is, until I look out the window.
And catch a glimpse of Jerry’s yard.
Our lovely neighbors across the street invest a considerable amount of time assuring that their yard looks like something you may see on HGTV. Instead of grass, it looks like they’ve carpeted their lot with green velvet.
Let’s just say, you can tell the empty nester’s yard from the one that also serves as the stomping grounds for active children.
Up close, it’s clear that Jerry’s yard is vastly superior to ours. However, from a few houses down, the quality looks oddly similar. It’s only when you get closer that you see the little nuances. The time and attention that he pays his property nets him a lush, beautiful lawn, void of any weeds or imperfections.
In a lot of respects, the differences in our yards are actually a lot like the differences among professionals. At a distance, many professionals look the same. Suits, office size, business cards, busy calendars, and such. But when we take a closer look, and peer past the surface, we get to see the quality within.
It can quickly become evident who has substance, and who’s playing games.
If we are to differentiate ourselves from the big mass of talent at first glance, we must harness our “inner Jerry.”
We need to think in terms of the type of care and attention that he gives to his landscaping, and invest that energy and talent and time to the nourishing and fertilizing our professional selves.
Like the weeds Jerry so meticulously removes from his yard, we need to cut down on the clutter in our lives that distract us from growing in our careers. We need to focus on sharpening our tools and cultivating the network of peers and colleagues that will help to put our best selves on display – just as Jerry puts the best yard in the neighborhood on display through his attention to detail and diligence.
What have you done lately to feed and nourish your professional development?