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Echo's Blog

Leadership Tips I Learned from my Garden

Written By: Barb Groff

Great leaders are Gardeners. They both nurture and weed their teams regularly, paying attention to unique needs and changing conditions. They attempt different combinations and locations to find the best configurations, they are patient and celebrate each bloom. 

I have a passion for flower gardening, I enjoy nurturing my plants to grow in whatever condition my yard offers. If it is on the shady side of my house, my flowers flourish in the cover from the sun, if it is on the windy side they provide a shield, if on the sunny areas they reach toward the sun. I tend to my plants so they can grow and flourish in whatever the environment is. I enjoy the details of weeding, replanting, and watering my flowers and watching the changes in my flower beds from spring to fall.

My philosophy on leadership is to guide others to get the job done while building their confidence, skills, and value. I think the best leaders adapt their leadership style to the people they lead. A great leader relates to each team member based on who they are and how they work best.

The best leaders are like gardeners who nurture plants to grow in whatever condition they are in. How can we as leaders incorporate our gardening skills into the workplace to foster our teams’ growth?

Knowledge

To grow flowers successfully I must become knowledgeable about each plant, what location they grow best in, how much light and water they need, and what type of soil they grow best in. To be a great leader we too need to be knowledgeable. Knowledge of the company’s environment: the products and services, the market we serve, and the team. Knowing the teams’ assets and opportunities for improvement is essential to foster their growth in skills and experience. Great leaders learn about their people to ensure they thrive.  

Weeding

My flower beds need constant weeding; the weeds inhibit the flowers' growth. Just like in weeding, leaders must remove the blockers and conflicts to encourage growth. Empathetic leaders are successful in people development and management. I feel it is so important to understand what your team does, know how to do it and what they are feeling to be a successful leader to the team. Take the time to understand what they are going through, what are the blockers and pain points and how as a leader you can help. Foster their productivity just as gardeners tend to their plants.

Trust

Just like I tend to my flowers as a leader I tend to and protect my people. I support them and entrust them to do their job. I believe mistakes are only mistakes if you do not learn from them. Mistakes are part of the process of learning, growing, and becoming better. Great leaders foster an environment where the team feels encouraged to try new ways, be innovative and creative, learn and fail to succeed. Great leaders provide a safe environment to make mistakes and be protected in their growth.

Celebrate & Praise

As a gardener I celebrate each flower that blooms in my garden. I marvel at their growth and beauty and the aspects they bring the gardens. I celebrate with joy and pride each bloom I have nurtured. The best aspect of leadership is celebrating your team with this same joy and pride. Celebrate their achievements, successes and announce their accomplishments with pride. Great leaders celebrate their teams and allow them to bloom beautifully.

Leadership is like great gardening. A great leader is knowledgeable about their company and people; empathetic to the teams’ challenges and works to remove their obstacles; stands by the team’s side and creates an environment for creativity and growth; and allows the team to shine and allows them to bloom.