Admire Your Field

Have you ever looked out your window to your backyard and thought, "Wow, my yard needs some work"? Or perhaps someone mentioned to you in passing that your car could use a bath?

From time to time we realize that our "field" needs a bit of tending, too. We have a concept at Benefitfocus that we refer to as "Developing Your Field". We talk about it at management meetings, and it makes its way onto t-shirts for various events. The idea is that we all have a patch, or field, that we can develop. We can invest in our careers, our teams and ourselves and have one of those green fields that you see when you drive down a country road. We contrast that with the field that is not being developed, with the broken-down tractor.

I find that people tend to look at their field, their current opportunity, in one of two ways. They either look at the field for what it could be, they list the good qualities of it, they articulate the potential. Or they see the field for what it is not, what its problems are, what the obstacles may be. How someone views their field has a lot to do with how they work to develop it.

If you saw a field with a deep vein of gold just a few feet below the soil you would get up early and dig to get to the gold. If however you saw no potential in the field whatsoever, you would ignore it; you may not even go visit it.

My encouragement to folks is to admire their field. Stop every now and then and make a list of the good qualities of your field. Make another list of the potential things it can become. Hold your field in admiration. If you do not, nobody else will. Often times you have to do this in the face of others' opposition - that is fine. Let them see what they see. You see the gold, the potential. And in doing so, you will naturally want to invest.