Shinichi Suzuki, the Japanese violinist and teacher responsible for the Suzuki method of teaching young violinists once said, “Man is a child of his environment.”
This quotation crossed my mind as I stood outside the boyhood home of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi last week. He lived in this two room house with his parents until he was 13.
I thought about how his family and his environment influenced his perspective, music and his choices. Clearly his environment was more than these two rooms. His environment included his community, church, school and the part of the world he live in.
While I am not an Elvis Presley historian, I think most would be believe that his early music is among his best – when he was closest to his roots, his environment, and his deepest values. And even if I am wrong on this point, it is clear that his music evolved -and I believe that is in part due to he evolution of his environment: more big city influence, bigger crowds, the Army, more media, movies, and more.
In the end perhaps it is the last sentence that is most important to us as individuals and as leaders.
The lesson for us is that our environment impacts our results.
So as individuals, we need to find, create and place ourselves in environments that that support our success. (check out my post yesterday for a related example from my life).
And as leaders, we must consciously work to create and make space for environments that allow our people to succeed. This can relate to physical and meeting space, the community and culture you build and much more.
Tomorrow I will write one more post in this series about place, location and environment, and how important they are creativity, productivity and happiness. Until then, think about this question:
Do I know what changes I could make to our work enviroment to better support and nurture the productivity of my team?