How are you tending your garden?

This time of year is busy around here. You may already know, my wife has a ½ acre garden. To most (including me) this is more like a little farm than a garden. She has tended it from having the sod broken by a tractor to engaging a local Amish friend to plow the ground. Then the tiller went into action. This was followed by laying out the beds (they’re like 5 feet by 75 feet), then planting, watering and covering the plants that are tender.

She was treated to periodic grazing by the local deer herd. So we put up a 7’ high deer fence. Then there was water, weeding, fertilizing and more watering.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it. Then there’s the payoff. Today, she went to the garden early to beat the heat. When she returned she was aglow. The garden is in full bloom. The corn is waist-high, all the crops are flourishing. She’s even beginning some early harvests.

Why am I telling you this story? Because this is how our lives work, it’s just that we don’t see it. Think about relationships, for instance. We meet someone new, maybe a possible friend or business colleague. We break new ground to start the process of getting to know each other. If we find a sense of connection, we nurture the relationship and it starts to grow.

Like the garden, weeds spring up. Relationship weeds can be in the form of disagreements or hidden agendas or judgments. Whatever the form, if we want our relationship to flourish, we must tend the weeds. We start by finding the source of the discord in ourselves. Then we overcome discomfort and speak honestly. Sticking with the conversation until we are both heard and rediscover harmony.

That’s not all. We also have to water and sometimes fertilize. We spend time together to share our experiences. We celebrate our ups and provide compassion for our downs. We comfort and are comforted. We share candidly and love freely. Our relationship garden can bring each of us the experience of joy just like my wife’s experience this morning.

How are you tending your garden today?

Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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