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High Performance: Summer of love

July 6, 2021 -  By
Hands with hearts on them (Photo: Axynia / iStock / Getty Images / Getty Images Plus)

Photo: Axynia / iStock / Getty Images / Getty Images Plus

2020 was the year of COVID. Spring 2021 brought the easing of COVID restrictions. Fall 2021 looks like it will be a time of resuming even more normalcy with back to school in person, office workers returning, etc. So, I propose that summer 2021 be a summer of love, not to be confused with “the” summer of love in 1967. My proposal contains a preamble and three ideas.

The preamble is simple. This past year has been tough on us all. Now that we are able to come together again and enjoy the community we share in our organizations, let’s do so this summer before the hectic back-to-school season is upon us in a few short weeks.

The first idea is to have a blowout summer picnic with your people, their families, along with your external partners and maybe even some customers. Food, games and laughter for all. The trick may be finding a venue, but if you select a small organizing committee of fired-up people, all of the details will get worked out.

The second idea is for each person in your organization to select three people they are grateful for and then to privately express their appreciation to each person. This round-robin style initiative will touch every person since the act of expressing appreciation is what matters the most. Expressions of appreciation are best done in person where possible.

The third idea is to ask each person to make a commitment to doing one thing for the rest of the summer to show some love at work. What is one thing that you can do, or stop doing, that will be meaningful to those you interact with at work? It’s a simple question, and the answer is probably equally as simple to determine.

The original Summer of Love in 1967 has been memorialized in music, art, movies, etc. How will the 2021 version be remembered? That is up to you.

Now go forth.

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Phil Harwood

About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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