Thursday, 9 June 2016

Plants and Leadership

Leadership is like a tree-- leader constitutes the roots which are firm but hidden; and leaves, flowers and fruits are rest of the team-- results and output visible to the world. Roots like a leader, provide nutrition or inspiration to the leaves or team members respectively. This comparison we have heard before.
But plants and trees teach us another aspect of leadership. This observation came recently when I was watering a flowering 'chandni plant on a hot summer day. This plant needed protection from the heat when it was small. Three years ago, I had used my golf umbrella to protect it from intense summer heat (read the full story by clicking here). See the picture below.

Today, this plant has grown fully and stands tall to face the summer heat by itself. 
Its white flowers are a delight. 
In addition, the plant gives enough shadow for other saplings like the Brahma Kamal ब्रह्म कमल  and ferns to survive in the heat (What is brahma kamal? Click to see this exotic flower which blooms at night). 
The 'Chandni' plant fully grown like a leader, now nurtures other plants. See the picture below.
Leadership like the above 'Chandni' plant, is nurturing future leaders . Of course leadership is all about inspiring people, setting example, leading from the front, taking risks, building teams and all of that! But the true essence of leadership is to groom leaders for tomorrow. Leader's absence or departure should not crumble an organisation. Instead, those groomed by the leader will take on the mantle and move forward.

Be like a tree. Nurture more trees, groom more leaders. Think less of yourself.

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    Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 9th May 2016