Are you leading like a spider?
I’ve talked about spiderwebs in the past – about how we as trailblazers clear the spider webs for others. But last week, my perspective moved. The spider became our first-person narrator, the focus of our attention.
What changed my point of view? Two massive spider webs that I met on my weekend jog. I didn’t destroy them by running straight through them, no, they were wisely built above human height, but still in a high-density traffic area when it comes to attracting insects of all kinds. Clever.
These are four spider-inspired gold nuggets around Foundations, Staying centred, Leading and growing our businesses effortlessly AND the added bonus insight of Learning and moving on. Too good to not share with you all here in a blog – and of course, because I’m not a biologist, it’s all metaphorical for how we lead, live and grow our businesses.
1) Foundations. The reason I spotted the two, big spider webs was a massive cicada caught in one of them (cicadas are very large, noise-creating insects found in warm climates). It made me realise how fascinating it is, that light and flexible material like what the spider web is made of has the strength to catch a heavy cicada and stamina to hold it hanging there, in the lunch box. This is us as leaders when we build the systems, the teams, the sales funnel strongly, like the spider’s web. It’s not how impressive the organisational chart looks or how long titles we hold, it can be nearly invisible when done right, but with incredible in-built strength. This is the business’ ecosystem that will keep us together, also when something big hits. Yes, the spider web will take a bit of repair after the cicada inclusion, but we know how to smoothly build it back up and refocus. Whether we’re talking sales, leadership or mindset, let’s lead like a spider and get the foundation right.
2) Staying centred. I the other web, where was the spider positioned? In the middle. That’s ideal leadership! How you sell, how you lead, how you grow your business. How you live your life really. When the web has been created, the spider moves to the middle. Have you ever seen a spider frantically running around all of the web checking that a specific corner is right or hands-on talking to all clients (lunch boxes) themselves? No! Do they get stressed over some straws (not added value) getting stuck in their web? No, they just don’t focus on it – or remove it as part of the next web. They stay centred, focusing on the big picture – ready to move and add value where and when it’s really needed.
3) Effortless. The material used is light, the work done seems smooth, spiders are not leading by force or drama. I’m most happy when my clients send me a message and share “how effortless” it was – when they implemented what we had focused on. That’s the goal for all my client work: results and joy. Applying all our skills and focus – but like a dance, not like a struggle or a fight. Could you imagine the spider every day getting into that web as if it was the biggest struggle ever? No. Let’s take on another challenge, let’s go for the next level, but not as a hard struggle – let’s be smart and enjoy the ride. Use our intelligence to our advantage, not letting it work against us as most intelligent people do. When we plan right, have a clear context, focus on the right things and adjust our communication, results can be effortless. It takes lots of action, but it feels great. That’s what I imagine spider leadership feels like. Are you aiming at your sales, leadership and mindset becoming effortless? Or do you prefer it continues to be hard work, pressure and busyness?
4) Finally, our bonus nugget: Moving on. Learning from our experiences. As I paused in the middle of the track observing these spider webs, a couple was walking past and as I shared my fascination, they as part of our conversation shared how intelligent – or maybe just smart – spiders are. Yes, they loyally build their web back up when it’s destroyed by us or nature. But they learn too! After this couple had carefully moved a web from their front door to the greenery next to it 2-3 days in a row, the spider got it! It’s too much hassle doing it at that front door again, why don’t I just build it here in the hedge? Just like my spiders that day had moved their webs to a high-density but also higher-positioned traffic area not getting destroyed by humans every day. What if we humans could learn from that??!! Moving on. Learning from our experiences. Not just continuing to bud our heads or bruise our legs tabling that same staff member, lead, client, challenge or family member again and again in the same way. Let’s learn and find a different focus and a different way. In sales, leadership and our mindset.
Now, let’s thank the spider for being our guest speaker today, our Clubhouse-chat-partner, sharing gold nuggets around Foundations, Staying centred, Leading and growing our businesses effortlessly AND the added collaborated bonus of learning and moving on. What’s YOUR one, spider-inspired action this week? In sales, in leadership or in life.