With a break in the weather, I seized the opportunity to get the outdoor Christmas lights put away.

While putting away the lights, I found myself thinking about leadership.

Every bush and every tree from which I removed lights  had the distinct appearance of being dead.  Limbs snapped with ease and the leaves they wore proudly in the summer lay dormant on the ground.

Despite the appearance of  “death,” they were very much alive, merely going through the annual process of renewing themselves.

With that thought, I couldn’t help but realize the importance of leaders stepping aside at times to rejuvenate and assess.  Come spring, my trees and bushes will look healthier than ever.

The same is true for us if we we take a periodic pause in the action.

As I rolled up each string of lights, I couldn’t help but laugh as to how somehow between now and next November when I put them out again, some of the strings will go bad.

I was chuckling to myself about how perfectly good strings in January can go bad just sitting in a box.  It’s a mystery that rates up their with how a clothes dryer eats socks.

Suddenly the leadership lesson hit me again!

Strings of lights go bad and so do people when they’re left alone too long.  People have to be nurtured. They need communication. They need the sense of teamwork.

When people are treated in this manner, they grow — they don’t stop working like strings of Christmas lights.

Finally, as I was wrapping the last string, I made a mental note as to how the extension cords were laid out to connect everything.  Somehow I’m thinking my “mental note” will remain with me and will magically pop back into my mind 11 months from now.

With that I realized again the application to leadership.

A requirement of leadership and life is in having the ability to remember, but it’s also about knowing when it simply isn’t smart to rely solely on memory. Recording information is important, regardless of the role we play.

What did you learn from taking down your holiday decorations?  Let me know.

Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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