As a reminder, the next few Wellness Wednesdays will offer contributions from our friend and colleague, Steve Ring. Steve is Director of Clinic Operations at Hegg Health Center in Rock Valley, IA.

“I had a discussion recently with friends in education and healthcare. Both related similar concerns coming out of the COVID pandemic about a large exodus of longtime professionals in their respective fields. Being fed up with educating students or caring for people’s health needs, both expressed an interest in leaving their professions and finding jobs that were different and looked easier.

It reminded me of the notion that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. When we are not satisfied with our own situation, other options look better. Our brown and dry grass is compared to someone else’s lush and healthy grass. We’ve become “green with envy.”

Why do our neighbors’ lawns look “healthier” to us? Well, they must take really good care of their grass…water, sunlight, fertilizer…trimming, mowing, weeding…purposeful time and attention. We imagine that by standing in their plush yard, our situation will look and feel a whole lot better. However, as we play in a new yard, that grass starts to show the wear and tear of our use and doesn’t look so green anymore. Then we again look for “greener pastures.”

When we choose a job or career, we go through orientation and someone passionately explains the mission, vision, and culture – the stuff that keeps the organization’s grass green. Some of us take to heart that we have a responsibility to do our part in keeping it green. Some of us feel that keeping the grass green is someone else’s job to maintain. Or some of us start out doing our part in keeping the grass green, but over time cut corners in the process. We stop watering every day, pulling weeds each weekend or fertilizing every year. We get frustrated and blame others for not doing their fair share.

Over time, just like at our former job, the once new grass becomes brown. We feel like powerless victims:

  • “Nobody else seems to care, so why should I?”
  • “I’ve done it for 20 years, so the newbies should be doing it now.”
  • “Leadership isn’t’ holding everybody accountable. Why do I always have to pick up the slack?”

Perhaps we feel we are just owed green grass with no effort on our part. Like Kermit sings:

If we want a positive, effective workplace environment (green grass), we need to create a culture of safety and trust where we can be vulnerable and our potential flourishes. The first cornerstone to achieving that culture is helping others succeed. All of us are hired to do a specific job with related tasks. Although not written in any job description, a Top 20’s primary job and chief task each day is to help others succeed. It’s a mindset that shifts from a ME mentality to a WE mentality.

When I help others succeed, I work to keep “our” grass green…for myself, my colleagues, leaders, customers, students, patients…for everyone we serve. Our colleagues and leaders have the same responsibility to us and to all those we serve together. We stop focusing on the constant distractions of who, what, where, when and how and focus on our “why” – our purpose for doing what we do. We help others succeed by providing awareness, strategies, tools and support to think, learn and communicate more effectively to make their lives better. When we let go of what we can’t control, choose to control what we can and live our “why”, we improve our situation and experiences and enjoy an abundance of growth.

EVERY job, career or situation has its stuff that causes frustration – sometimes making us feel like we want to give up and start new. Before making that final decision, let’s take some time to reflect on the principle that…

To my friends at Top 20 Training, thank you for teaching me how to keep my bucket full of water. My lawn is forever grateful.”

– Steve Ring

From our Top 20 bucket carriers…Willow, Kevin, and Tom.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training