Pulling Up the Flowers to See the Roots

Farmer Brown once planted a seed. The seed eventually yielded the most beautiful flowers he has ever seen. Once the flower bloomed, his curiosity got to the best of him. He thought to himself, “man, those flowers are beautiful, I wonder how I can replicate the process that created such a beautiful sight”. With that, he pulled up the flowers to take a look at the roots. A few days after looking at the roots, the flowers withered and died. The worst part was he did not glean any valuable information from pulling up the flowers to see the roots to replicate its processes.

There is a distinct difference between holding individuals accountable and pulling up their roots. Pulling up the roots mean you tell the individuals around you exactly what to do to grow as if you are the expert, versus simply expressing to the individual what success looks looks like and allowing them to take ownership of the process through which they will excel. When Farmer Brown pulled up the flower to see the roots, he prevented the flower from being pollinated, thus preventing the flower from propagating its beauty to nearby gardens on continued and exponential growth and beauty.

As you lead, allow the flowers to simply be beautiful. It is clear the flowers will be beautiful so long as the proper sunlight, soil and water is available. Your job a as a leader is to provide those key ingredients without scrutinizing and looking beneath the soil for doing so will interrupt the natural processes that are lying beneath the surface.


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