Leadership is crucial to a productive team in the workplace. Something you learn over time is that leadership never looks exactly the same wherever you go. Sometimes it’s one person. Other times, it’s multiple members of a team working together to create direction toward a goal.
Whatever it looks like in your organization, there are special qualities that make a strong leader stand out in a group.
Confidence is key in a leadership role, but an excess of anything can be a bad thing. Too much pride in a leader can cause progress to falter. Having humility in a group means entering discussions with an open mind and embracing the different strengths of each team member. Letting go of the reins is a skill that not every leader masters. Giving teammates their moment to lead a discussion can allow new ideas to emerge that otherwise wouldn’t. This type of equal playing field on a team builds a sense of listening, learning, and understanding.
Let’s be honest: Being able to articulate difficult truths is a skill. Especially in a team with coworkers that you like and respect, it takes a strong leader to communicate that an idea or project needs some work. The difference between “That’s not your best idea” and “Let’s build on that idea some more” can make or break a productive brainstorming meeting. Keeping the synergy among team members moving while providing constructive criticism can feel like an art form. A great leader has the emotional intelligence to do that successfully.
Where do we go from here? A leader is often someone who can conceptualize a clear vision of the future of a team or project. Knowing how the task at hand fits into the big picture allows ideas to click into place in the scope of a team. A skilled leader keeps in mind the purpose, goals, values, and desired outcome of what they are working to accomplish. Time management, task delegating, and strategic thinking all come into play here.
Recognize the Leaders in your Workplace
Even though someone in a leadership role may seem to always have their head on straight, it’s a demanding position. If you have someone within your team or organization who exhibits strong or admirable leadership qualities, let them know. Tell them they’re doing a great job. Thank them for being a great leader or member of your team. You never know how much they could use some recognition or kind words.
Visiting farmers’ markets near us is one of our favorite ways to shop for produce and local goods in an ecofriendly way. Luckily, spending a Saturday morning at the farmers’ market is not a summer-exclusive activity. So, what’s in season in September?
In Season this Month
At the start of the season, there are some fan favorites ripe and ready on the east coast. Lettuce, arugula, corn, carrots, bell peppers, eggplant, and okra are the early fall veggies you’ll find. For our west coast friends, you can find artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, kale, and so, so much more (check out this huge database for seasonal produce in CA).
When it comes to fruit, it’s time for our east coasters to break out your favorite pie recipes. Apples, plums, and blackberries are sure to be in supply. We’re also saying goodbye to a summer delight: peaches. To our Californians, be on the lookout for apples, lemons, oranges, grapes, pears, raspberries, and strawberries. It’s looking like a bountiful fall!
One way we like to make the most out of visiting our local farmers’ market is to ride our bike there. Getting a basket or an insulated cooler bag to attach to your bicycle can really change the game and expand what you can bring home on your bike.
Inviting a friend or family member, or bringing along a child in your life can make it even better. Whether you have a younger sibling or a little one of your own, going for a bike ride to the farmers’ market gives them an awesome day spent outside in their community. Meeting local growers can connect children to the food they eat, and even inspire them to try some of the new, colorful foods they see. This can show kids how fun it is to shop sustainably and get them out of the car for a day out!
As a matter of fact, we know the perfect day to get on your bike and find a farmers’ market near you: Car Free Day on September 22nd! Click the link to learn more and take the pledge to go car free!
As creatures of habit, there are pieces of our lives that become an everyday staple without us realizing it. It can be doing your hair how you like it, your refined cooking methods, or the news you read each morning. One daily routine seems to be a consensus in the US. It’s drinking our favorite hot, caffeinated beverage: Coffee.
It seems simple enough. People drink coffee because caffeine is technically addictive. But to coffee drinkers, there are factors of having a morning (and maybe afternoon) coffee that go beyond needing a kick of energy. So, why do we really love coffee so much?
The Social Aspect
Coffee, over time, has become a social experience of togetherness. Hearing the words “Let’s get together for coffee” is just music to our ears. Chatting over a latte is something special. It can spark new relationships, keep friendships going strong, and even mend broken bonds. (Wait… is coffee actually magic?)
A Sweet Escape
On another hand, coffee is simply a comforting drink that has the power to make you feel warm inside. While it’s popular belief that coffee drinkers are always itching for some caffeine to keep them energized, more people drink it to relax than you may think. Enjoying a familiar, warm beverage like coffee in your favorite mug can aid in creativity, mental stimulus, and overall calmness.
After a while, coffee becomes a staple to your workday. As we mentioned, humans are creatures of habit. Once you get used to being productive and getting work done with a coffee in your hand, it feels right to have a cup to keep that momentum going. It’s similar to how some people end the day with a cup of tea before bed to wind down. Maybe that’s why talking around the coffee pot in the office brings unity and a feeling of teamwork; we are enjoying each other’s company before getting back to work.
It may come as comfort to our fellow coffee lovers that not only is the drink good for energy and productivity, but it’s good for you, too. It burns fat, contains essential nutrients, and stimulates the nervous system. So, drink up, but be sure to drink even more water than you do coffee. Cheers!
Each year on August 19, we pay tribute to dedicated humanitarian workers who have been injured or lost their lives in the course of their work. We also honor all health and aid workers who continue to provide support and life-saving protection to people in need all around the world.
This year on World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations chose to focus on the global challenge for climate action. A phrase used to summarize this effort: “In the race against the climate crisis, we can’t leave anyone behind.”
To stand in solidarity with the people around the world who are vulnerable to the climate emergency, the UN has created a campaign called #TheHumanRace.
To join #TheHumanRace, you can sign up to complete 100 minutes of any activity of your choice between August 16 and August 31. This will act as a unified message to world leaders, telling them that we as a world community expect developed countries to deliver on their pledge of $100 billion annually for climate adaptation in developing countries.
As it stands, there are over 440,000 participants all over the world that have already signed up to take part in #TheHumanRace.
There are dozens of activities that count toward reaching everyone’s 100-minute goal, from yoga to windsurfing. Making a difference is available to us in the form of walking around the neighborhood, going for a hike in nature, or riding bikes with friends.
As said by Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres: “The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.”
Can you imagine walking along car-free streets in Manhattan?
That’s exactly what people are able to do with NYC’s Open Streets program. It’s a pedestrian and cyclist prioritized project that is changing the way people explore the city that never sleeps.
This program embraces public spaces while supporting the small businesses that line the streets of NYC. The areas chosen as open streets are coordinated with local community organizations and are scattered throughout the five boroughs.
You can check out more about the program and see all the open streets here on the New York City DOT website.
As a nonprofit that supports every alternate mode of transportation, our mission is constantly adapting to innovations like this in the industry. Seeing that streets throughout NYC have been transformed into public spaces is an important victory that moves us in the direction of being able to imagine car-free societies.
Have you been to any of NYC’s Open Streets? Share a photo with us on our Twitter page with the hashtag #LoveOpenStreets!