>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

The Lesson of the Almond Tree

Posted: 18 Aug 2008 01:24 AM CDT

As a gardener, I am very much a beginner and the garden we inherited in September was quite overgrown and neglected. Last winter we pruned some of our Almond trees. Now in the second half of August the ones we pruned are still green with vigorous young shoots and green leaves, but no Almonds.

Other trees, that have been left for years, have only old shoots and have lost most of their leaves in the summer heat and also have almost no nuts. Some of the trees that have were pruned a few years ago still have leaves, but these ones also have nuts.

The old farmers here of course knew exactly how to maintain their Almond trees for maximum harvest year after year. They would keep a close eye on the trees and would thin them every year, so that there was always a good mix or roots, foliage and nuts.

So – what is the lesson of the Almond tree?

As any gardner will tell you, the balance between roots and foliage is critical. If there is too much foliage for the root base the plant can suffer or die when there is a drought. And if a plant needs to be cut back severely, there will be no crop that year.

We can see this too in our own lives, in business and in society as a whole.

Whatever we do it is important to grow a strong and stable root base that can support us when times are lean and not to get carried away and out grow our root base when times are good.

To do this we need to focus our energy on establishing a strong, three “C’s” base of Capability, Communication and Community that can sustainably support us.

As individuals this means we need to invest in understanding and developing what we are great at, our Capability, so that we can best offer value to others. We then need to find or create a platform that will help us Communicate and deliver what we are offering to our Community.

In business we need to build up a strong and reliable team of self-motivated, team player/leaders who are inspired to deliver value with great products, Capability. We need to build strong Communications networks into our Community so that we can connect products with customers.

In society similarly we need to build everyones Capability to take care of themselves and each other. We need to build our abilities to Communicate with each other and create a sense of Community to minimise the desire for conflict.

If we do outgrow our root base, pruning is painful and can result in lean years as the energy to produce the crop is restored.

If we want to avoid painful pruning, as soon as we realise that there might be a problem we need to shift our focus back to the basics of Capability, Communication and Community. And we need to work out how we can best deliver value to our community under the new conditions.

There are those who will thrive in even the worst market conditions and they do so by offering relevant value to their community.

Remember the lesson of the Almond tree – focus on developing the roots of Capability, Communication and Community while always keeping a balance between the foliage and the roots.

If you would like help with any of this for your self or your business you might like to take advantage of my August three for two offer, come to the amazing PIE Retreat or have a chat with me about some training or consultancy for your team.

With love


neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
UK mobile 07775 658534

“Fear leads to hate
Hate leads to anger
Anger leads to suffering”
– Yoda

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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