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Monday, July 6, 2009

Lessons from a tomato plant...

First, let me tell you right up front that I never claimed, nor do I pretend to be a gardener, or for that matter know anything about gardening (hey, I grew up in Flint, MI. We make cars, not vegetables). Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, my wife Rochelle (who by the way grew up on a ranch in Booker, TX, so you would think should have a working knowledge of this gardening stuff) decided to plant some tomato plants this year. Humoring her I went along with the idea. After all, I may not know how to grow them but I like to eat them non-the-less. It’s now been about 6 weeks since those plants have gone into the ground and the plants themselves are huge, measuring over 4 foot tall and about the same size in diameter. They look good and have a lot of “green” tomatoes on them, so in my impatience I keep asking, “when are they going to be ready to eat?” Rochelle just laughs and tells me that it takes time (although in reality she is just as impatient as I am, if not more so). What we're learning is that the fruit has to have time to grow, be nourished, and ripen. When the fruit is ready we’ll have all the tomatoes we can eat.

As I keep thinking about the lessons I am learning from our tomato plants I realize just how relevant they are to what each of us do everyday. Regardless of what we do each day, our lives are filled with relationships, and each of those relationships needs time, attention, and nourishment. As Rochelle and I are learning, “when the tomatoes are ready we’ll have more than we can eat.”

Some of relationships in our lives need a little special care and attention today. Keep nurturing each of them. And when they’re ready they’ll produce more than we can eat. That’s really what leadership on all levels; personal and professional, secular and spiritual are all about, nurturing relationships with people, being patient, and reaping the harvest of our labors. We are half way through another year. Now is a good time to stop and think about each and every relationship in our lives. Do any need a little special attention today? There's no time like the present, let’s keep building those relationships, nurturing them, and reaping the harvest.

You’ll never look at a tomato plant the same…

Lead Strong...


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