“Leader ,How does your Garden Grow?”

“Introduction : How does your Garden Grow?” Part 1 of 5


During the summer, as many principals across the world, I spend the time “off” preparing my school building and campus for the new school year and the arrival of staff and students.  I work on curriculum, instructional themes, plot strategies, building improvements, facility upgrades, building partnerships, and even …landscaping. This summer I found myself working on my “Friday “project of improving the front entrance landscaping to make it more visually appealing to our guests, staff and my students.  I made many trips to the local Lowe’s and Home Depot (and made a few friends at both stores). I hauled many, many bags of mulch, gravel, soil and trays of flowers. I spread the fresh mulch, added all the gravel, added edgers, remove dead shrubs, cut tall weeds, and planted new colorful flowers.  And like most principals and teachers… I spent a lot of my own money to make the project happen just right.  Anyone who has ever planted a flower garden, or any garden knows that it is now an easy task …no matter what you may see on television or in a magazine! It is hard work. It requires a lot of thought, planning, effort, countless hours of labor and maintenance. The work can be demanding, tiring, lonely, frustrating but when done correctly it is very rewarding in the end.

As I worked, planned, and watched the vision take shape, I thought to myself that this is a perfect analogy of what being a school leader is like. The leader is the lead gardener and the garden is your school: all of the people, students, strategies commitments, missions and visions. It is the job of the school leader to create a beautiful garden, maintain it, and help it grow to its full potential. The school garden must be carefully planned cultivated, nurtured, and worked to create a garden which everyone can enjoy and benefit.

 The leader toils and works during school breaks and after hours to make sure that their school is ready and growing. The leader continues to nurture their school once the seeds have been planted and school year begins.  They make sure that all the members of their school are supported and cared for so that they can bloom. The leader also recruits help when needed, researches better techniques, and brings in additional material when needed. It is hard work and tedious work, but the leader believes in the garden and knows that the work is worth it. The benefits and rewards are great and are for all. Are you the lead gardener at you school? 

  • Are you the lead gardener for your school or organization?
  • Does your garden need some help or is it prospering?
  • How does your garden grow? Is it healthy?

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