I was brought up in a house that had an amazing garden. My parents love gardening and since small, I was exposed to a very beautiful one. Since then I fall in love with nature and I would enjoy helping my parents to cultivate and take care of the garden. Even till today, gardening is one of my hobbies and this hobby has taught me a few things that are relatable to what an ideal leader should be. But before we get into the details, let's understand what a leader is about.

The basic definition of a leader is a person in charge that motivates and inspires a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things and coach their team to be more effective at achieving the goal/mission. Being a leader is not something that you are born with, the traits are developed based on your experience and understanding towards other people. Just like a leader is a gardener, and here are some helpful experiences that gardening has taught me about leadership.

TL;DR

  1. Create a rightful environment for people to flourish and become the best version of themselves
  2. Give your team the constant motivation/praise they need as to how they eat on a daily basic
  3. Being patient is one of the keys to being a good leader
  4. Enjoy the progress
  5. Leaders never compare, they motivate
  6. Leaders resolve conflicts and confront problems
  7. Just like planting seeds, leader plant ideas into their teams
  8. Leaders think about the whole team and not by individual

You have to gets your hands dirty to see the progress you want.

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

Gardening is not a sit and shakes leg job. You have to get down with your hands and knees, get yourself in the dirt, understand the soil and plant seeds in it. Then making sure that the seed you plant is able to undergo germination and when you are able to see the first sign of life, the joy that you get in yourself is difficult to put in words.

Similar to that, a leader has to coach his team and carve them to be a better version of themselves. You can't just sit and instruct your team member, you as a leader have to get down to the ground and teach/guide your team members about every trait they need in order to accomplish the mission. This also means that you have to constantly update and upgrade yourself to be a better version of you, in order of you to become a role model or to play the role of a leader for your team.

Create the right environment for your team to flourish

Every plant and every human are different from each other. As a gardener, I need to create the right environment for the plant to flourish. Plants have their own way of surviving. Some plant needs to be watered regularly while some plants need very less sunlight to stay alive. As a gardener, you need to know what is the best environment for that plant.

Same as a human being, they are different from each other. In order to bring out their best version, you as a leader need to know what are their strength and weakness. From there you can start building an environment or educate them on what are the things they need in order to improve themselves.

One thing that you should not do as a leader is to compare your team with each other although they have similar characterization. As an example, is the difference between sugarcane and also bamboo, as both the plants look alike, you can't build a house with sugarcane and you can't take the juice out of bamboo.

Praise your team members

Photo by Pedro Kümmel on Unsplash

Let me give a metaphor of a scenario, just like how a plant wilted when it doesn't get the right amount of water, the same happens to a person when they don't get the praise they deserve. You don't have to be a leader to do this, you can complement and praise your team member when they do a good job in their work. This builds a positive team and encourages each other to give their best at any task.

There are also many ways to complement your team, as a leader you can have a team outing section, go for a trip, have a day off, or even treat them lunch. You can also give a present to them that will improve their strength so that they can perform even better in the future.

Identify and resolve conflicts

In a garden, there will always be weeds around a nurture solid or plant. As a gardener, you need to identify and remove it before the weed kills your plant. In order to keep your plants nurture and stay healthy, you as a gardener use pest remover, add plant food, build a fence around and create a greenhouse shade for your plants to avoid them from any type of danger.

The same thing also applies to a leader. As a leader, you need to constantly solve problems and resolve conflict faced by your team members. This includes you protect and defend them, give them security for the work they are doing, train them, and constantly look after their needs in the team.

Be patient and enjoy the progress

You can't see the fast result in gardening and also in building a team. It will take a long time and you will hit into many obstacles. As a gardener, I enjoy the process of gardening, although it is a tiring one at the end of the day looking back and the plants I have, a little joy in me sparks. If you are into gardening you will realize that some plants don't bloom very fast, for example, cactus. But when the time comes for it to bloom, I can ensure you that you will feel worthy to be patient all this while. This also reflects when your team is able to achieve its mission and succeed in their life.

One of the greatest achievements of a leader is to create more leaders who are better than him for the coming generation.