Don’t Waste Time Watering Rocks!

Leader How does your Garden Grow?

 “Don’t waste time watering  the Rocks.” Part 3 of 5

You have to make sure to spend your energy on the right things.

Growing a garden is hard work.  Planting a garden is hard work. Setting the environment for maximum growth is hard work.  Maintaining the garden is hard work.  Leading an organization, setting a direction and vision for an organization, doing the work so that an organization can grow is all hard work. You do not have time to waste of tasks which do not yield effort and are a waste of effort.  Do not waste time watering the rocks! Leaders do not have time to waste watering rocks.

Rocks represent those things in your organization which are firm in the culture of the organization. It can be procedures, values, traditions, or even be people. “We have always done it this way.” There are people in organizations who do not like change. There are people who will not change. There are people “who are who they are” and will not bloom into anything different. In organizations there are values and beliefs that are old as the organization and will not change. Old ideas can be rocks as well. Some leaders spend too much of their time on things that will not and do not change. Do not waste time watering rocks.

Rocks do not grow. If the purpose of your efforts is to make things in your garden grow, then watering rocks is a waste of your time, efforts and resources.  Rocks do not grow.  They can be polished, sanded, buffed, or even painted but watering a rock will not make it grow… no matter how much you wish it to do so. Stop watering rocks!!Water represents your energy and resources. Using them in such a way and wishing for an impossible outcome is not only exhausting, but frustrating, and futile.

Instead spend your time watering those things in your garden that will grow, sprout and bloom as the results of your efforts and investments. There are people in your organization who have great potential to grow and be better. New employees, new teachers, talented team members, and people with hidden potential.  As a leader you have the responsible to nurture those who follow you and are in your care. This will make your organization better and the best version of itself

Rocks can be removed. If a rock is in the way of the garden’s growth, rocks can be moved to a different part of the garden or can be removed all together from the garden. Rocks can be repurposed and add to the landscaping plan and can add contrast. People can be transferred, teams can be shuffled, goals can be changed, duties can be reassigned, and mission & visions can be reworked.  This may make your garden better more functional. However, removing some rocks can leave huge holes which must be filled with new soil or plants. However, this must be part of the garden plan.  Rocks can be incorporated into your plan. Core values which are important to your organization should be part of your plan. They may just need to be place in different contexts.

Sometimes they are not worth removing. Sometimes its best just to let the rocks stay and lie where they are. Rocks can be small or huge. Rocks can be buried deep into the ground and can be very heavy making them very difficult to move and a waste of resources to attempt to move them. You can spend countless hours, resources and man power only to discover it will not be moved. Sometimes you have to evaluate whether or not the removing the rock is worse than just letting it remain and focusing on the garden and the new growth.

If you focus on your new growth and plants which grow, rocks can be a covered up with new growth when plants are in full bloom. The rocks can remain, but you shift the focus from them to the rest of the garden’s fresh blooms and growth. As the gardener, you shift your efforts to changing the focus in your garden.

Everything in your garden can have purpose if you account for it in your plan. However, you must understand its purpose and function. As the gardener it is your job to set the purpose for your garden. It is also important that the gardener sets what the focus should be and where you spend your most valuable resource which is time. Time is precious. Energy is limited. Change is difficult. Do not waste your time watering the rocks. Spend your time watering the plants that will grow. You must figure out something else to do with the rocks. Because rocks don’t grow.

As a leader:

  • What rocks are you watering?
  • What types of rocks have you noticed in your garden?
  • Do your rocks have the right purpose in your garden?
  • What is your plan for your rocks?

Read my blog posts and reflect to see “How your garden grows.” Please leave comments so that I can “grow” too.


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