Monday, 21 August 2017

Tend the roots

I have a little bamboo stick that has been growing on a small vase with some stones at the bottom of it. Roots have been growing around the rocks and rocks were almost part of the bamboo. Recently some of the leaves were becoming yellow. So I just pulled that leaf off and keep only the yellow ones. I also noticed that the level of water on the vase was not going down giving me the hint that the plant was not using the water. After I had pulled many leaves and noticing that the water was not going down for over two weeks, I thought I need to check deeper.
So I poured out the water from the vase and I smelled a bad smell. Hmm... If I was a plant and that was my water, I wouldn't be happy. So I put new water on the vase and thought this will now change things. Nope... there was still that smell and the water didn't look clean. So I decided to pull the plant out of that vase and into a new one. Because the rocks were so much into the roots, was hard to get the plant out, but I managed. What I noticed was: The rocks seemed a bit slimy and some of the roots were gray instead of light brown. Took the rocks off, cleaned the plant and the roots and put it into a new vase. Washed the rocks but did not put them back into the new vase. Even after washing them with soap, they stunk. The plant seemed to show signs of happiness and the roots started changing color to light brown.

As a person that runs an organization or leads a group of people, don't stop looking at the surface when you notice something is not right. If there are unhappy people (like the yellow leaves) removing them will not fix the issue. Those people are the ones that give you the insight that there is something to be taken care and you are the one that needs to get your hands to "dirty water" and do what needs to be done.
"Rocks" or those people we consider solid and strong/foundational CAN be a problem. When they stay on your organizations for a long time, doing the same thing, not looking horizontally to other skills to grow, they "rotten" and start creating that toxic environment that might kill the new ideas that want to grow. Be mindful of your rocks, move them around so they can see other perspectives, they do not effect the roots or leaves but rather support them and keep them healthy.

Here my plant in a new vase and feeling happier. On the side are the rocks and the last yellow leaves I took away.

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