I’ve always been inspired by growing up with a family who is very involved in landscaping and gardening. It’s greatly guided my journey to where I am today. Little did I know as a child how my perception of both would inspire how I view situations from different angles in my career.
Landscaping and gardening today at my own home have brightened my view of my leadership role. The guidance my parents gave me on both centered on investing and thinking of all choices and outcomes and finding that perfect spot of balance, acceptance, and compromise – something that lends itself well to managing clients and consultants.
“Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants”
– Jonathan Haidt
My mother and father are the type of parents who are analytical thinkers. They think of all the potential outcomes before acting on decisions. I remember being in the garden with them as a child and how they both would dissect possible approaches for the best outcome for each plant.
While doing this they would each describe the sacrifices that were made on both sides, but would agree to those sacrifices for the best results. They taught me that when love, sweat, dedication, and sacrifices are made, the end result should be nothing but the best possible outcome.
“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.”
– Meister Eckhart
I didn’t see this as a normal way of thinking since it was a plant, but I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture developing before my eyes: our decisions today predict and impact our tomorrow.
What I was not perceiving is what I am able to recognize and comprehend today: when we act on impulse and don’t consider all the variables, we are quick to lose our battles. Decisions have reactions, and those reactions can create positive as well as negative repercussions.
It’s the same in leadership. If you don’t consider your decisions, you miss out on opportunities to reap any benefits. Instead, you’re left with shoulda, coulda, and woulda.
“Every plant has to look good for at least two seasons.”
– Cheryl Miller
Consistency and persistence will make a flower bloom and a tree reach its maximum height. As a leader, if I fail to be consistent and committed, to nurture, or to be available to my clients and consultants, I fail to be that beacon of light they turn to.
Positive results aren’t achieved overnight. We must strive to devote ourselves to seeing our work through to reach that light at the end of the tunnel. When success is achieved, that feeling of accomplishment embeds itself in us and pushes us to continue each day, to lead by example.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
– Og Mandino
Gardening always has an outcome. It demonstrates if I did my best and what was right. It shows vibrant colors at the right time and in the right elements. Planting roses in the wrong sun, soil, and time of year does not result in blooms; instead, it leads to mere plants with thorns.
Leadership has taught me to nurture my clients and consultants so that they feel they’ve been provided with the best service consistently. I trim and tailor my approach to each to fit their unique situations. I work to recognize their differences so that what I plant today I may harvest later.
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”
– Liberty Hyde Bailey
Life is full of challenges. The effort of what we put into something – no matter the situation – will have a result. True leaders should always lead by example if we are to expect the same from others. We must always put our best foot forward and know when to step back.
If we don’t implement this into our leadership roles, we aren’t considering all views and vantage points. That means our teams may not reach the finish line together. It’s when we invest our labor and attention that our teams will win.