Leadership Practice #3: The Practice of Plenty

I’ve worked in three not for profit organisations over the last thirty years. My experience was the same across all of them: there was never enough. Never enough money. Never enough staff. Never enough time.

As I work now with corporate organisations, I’ve found the litany of ‘never enough’ is as pervasive there as in the not for profit sector. The more we have, the more we want, the less we feel capable of delivering.

The practice of Plenty is NOT an exercise in denial. It is the practice of shaping a better reality.

Never enough money or plenty of money?

By clinging to the idea ‘there is never enough money”, we block the possibilities that come from a different practice, the practice of plenty.

There is always plenty of money for the things we prioritise. Somehow we find the funds for the projects that make the difference. There is always a way to make more money. If we practice there is plenty of money, we relax, and we explore creative solutions to our desires.

Never enough staff or plenty of staff?

We get caught up in the practice of never enough staff when we buy into other practices of, “more is better”, “faster is greater”.

I find that the practice of “never enough staff” is often found in conjunction with the practice of “poor boundaries” and the practice of being a “yes person”.

Work expands to the container. Working within our means is the same principle as spending within our means. When we acknowledge what we have in the moment, we can make choices accordingly, without the panic of “never enough”; and without falling in to the practice of “martyr”. (You know- like when you work until 3am to get a project done. Seriously, stop this right now.)

 Never enough time or plenty of time?

The concept of ‘never enough time’ is actually quite absurd. Time is both a relative and fixed thing. The clock cycles though 24 hours every day: fixed. Sometimes we experience time as fleeting, sometimes as dragging: relative.

It’s not that we don’t have enough time. It’s that we have a different practice: the practice of “I’m too busy”, or the practice of “overcommitment”, or the practice of “poor boundaries”.

There is always plenty of time when we choose to live each moment fully. When we pause and absorb ourselves in the full richness of the moment: of laughing with a friend, of reading a good book, of enjoying the feel of sunlight on our skin, then there is no sensation of time, but only the sensation of pure aliveness.

Are you practicing ‘never enough’ or ‘plenty of’? What other practices do you have that strengthen your experience and contribution as a leader?