Picture courtesy of MRHSfan via Compfight.com
One of my favorite things about summer is the spectacular
thunderstorms that roll in off Lake Michigan where I live. There’s nothing like
the slow approaching sound of thunder, the darkening thick clouds drifting in, the
warm breezes picking up momentum, a smell in the air, and the lightning. I love to watch Mother Nature’s symphony in
the heat of the summer. Every element of a good storm plays their part with the
lightning often being the conductor – in more ways than one.
After a strong storm passes through and all is calm, have
you ever noticed how healthy and green everything looks in the garden? The air
smells fresh and cool. Raindrops glisten like tiny diamonds off plant leaves.
If you think that everything looks greener and fresh, it does. You can thank
the lightning from the storm for leaving a gift in your garden – nitrogen.
As destructive as lightning can be, it has some magical
qualities. Lightning works with rain to clear up the atmosphere of dust,
pollen, and other pollutants. A lightning bolt can be 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit
releasing up to a billion volts of electricity! All this power produces 100
million tons of nitrogen compounds a year worldwide. The valuable Nitrogen that
lightning produces is like a power drink to your garden. Nitrogen is the key
nutrient that gives plants their rich green color and leafy growth. It needs to
be continually renewed for plants to use it. Nitrogen is like a giant
fertilizing machine. planetseed.com
Nitrogen is all around us in the atmosphere but it’s not
in a form that plants can readily use. In order to green up and grow plants
need Nitrogen at the soil surface or in the dirt in order to take up Nitrogen
to grow. This is where lightning comes in. Our atmosphere is about 79% Nitrogen. When we
get a strong storm the lightning provides energy that converts the atmospheric
Nitrogen into Nitrogen Oxide which just happens to be the prime ingredient in
fertilizer. Once this takes place, the Nitrogen is in a form that plants can
absorb and use it to green up and flourish. As with any fertilizer this isn’t
an instantaneous process after a lightning storm. The plants still need to draw
up the nitrogen from the soil, but the rain does immediately help perk things
Next time the storms come rolling in be thankful for the
rain but hope for some strong bright lightning bolts of thunder – your plants
will love being struck by lightning!
“I seem to be some sort of lightning rod. I
really irritate people, you know? I really do. “– Howard Stern
There is no question regarding the power of a single lightning
bolt in a turbulent stormy sky. It has
the power to inconvenience, destroy, and yes, even kick start plant growth. As bright
and powerful lightning is, it can also be very silent. We know that lightning
travels through the atmosphere turning nitrogen into usable Nitrogen Oxide
which our landscapes gobble up producing green growth. We don’t see the
process, but it’s there and it delivers a punch of growth.
Guess what? Every team has a lightning bolt as well. Is
Team dynamics can really impact productivity and success.
Most of us have been catapulted into teams where there is a disconnect or lack
of partnering and focus. Some of my experiences still make me cringe to this
day. Often the key to changing the negativity and dysfunction of a group is a
lightning bolt. The lightning bolt that I am referring to is that one person on
a team that has that special “something”. This person is a catalyst for new
ideas, change, building consensus, and jump starting people into action. Although
we see lightning bolts as dramatic and bold, that’s not always the case with
the lightning bolt on your team. Often they are the quietest, steadiest, yet
energetic person in the room. Look around you today at work and ask yourself
who electrifies your group and has the ability to jump start change. Is it you?
drivers of a lightning bolt
He or she is the go to person on the team. This person
has the knowledge, skills, and guts to jump in and contribute.
Not only does a lightning bolt know what others
don’t, he jumps on problems and even has a sense where they will pop up. They
can smell a problem a mile away.
Lightning knows exactly where to strike and is drawn
to particular things. Those bolts on your team are equally as decisive and
easily make key decisions. Decisiveness is powerful.
Are you flexible and open to change? In a storm it’s
critical to have the ability to change direction on a dime and go in another
The sky is a big place. So must the view be of a
kick starter on your team. The ability to see the big picture is critical to
Lightning is full of electrical charge. To be a lightning
bolt, you must be positive.
Lightning bolts know how to get people moving
and challenge them. They strike to bring out the best in others.
They are disruptors. They bring creativity and
innovation which can intimidate some people.
Key players have the courage to strike and learn
from their mistakes.
Lightning bolts have strong intellectual
firepower - they know when to use it.
They have the courage to show their passion in
everything that they do.
Next time you are caught in a strong storm at work, peer through
the clouds and look for the lightning bolt of energy in the room. Is it you?