Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gardener as Leader

Okay, I admit it. 'Tis the season to be obsessed with gardening. I'm out there every second that can spare, digging, planting, weeding, and watering. And then when it's dark, I come indoors to my computer, and instead of working on revising my novel, I connect to gardening websites and read avidly about the mysteries of growing potatoes, or how to mulch properly. Most recently, I have discovered a gardening social network called Folia that allows one to keep a gardening journal online and much, much more.

Lately, I was involved in some leadership workshops. In keeping with my current obsession, I began reflecting on what you can tell about a person's leadership style from the kind of gardener he or she is. Here are a few examples:

  • plants vegetables, not flowers -- pragmatic leader
  • plants intensively -- concerned with productivity, and careful husbanding of resources
  • seeds too thickly -- lacks confidence; failure averse
  • turns all the garden into lawn -- not a nurturing type
  • digs and turns over the soil by hand; handpicks weed roots and bugs -- engaged in the day-to-day functioning of the organization; possibly a micro-manager
  • Uses a motorized tiller -- efficient; seeks power
  • uses organic gardening methods -- concerned about healthy relationships and team building
  • uses fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides -- efficient, possibly ruthless, needs to be in control; any means to an end
  • Doesn't keep up with the weeding -- dislikes the dirty work; disorganized
  • Doesn't keep up with the watering -- lacks focus and disorganized; possibly incompetent
  • Plantings are not suited to climatic zone or recommended planting dates -- lacks appropriate knowledge; doesn't do background research; poor planner
  • Plants the same thing every year according to schedule -- solid and dependable, but lacks creativity and vision
And so on. Do you have any to add here?


  1. Put everything in boxes & planters: Likes to be in control!

  2. and is good at remembering to water regularly :)