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Leadership via Gardening

Dr. Vicki R. Whiting Ph.D., MBA – who is a professor at the Gore School of Business, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah – focuses on organizational management – “most specifically on organizational behavior, mentorship, negotiation, leadership and the global environment of the firm.” As part of this focus she has developed “3 Keys to Cultivating Leadership” (presented in an essay for The Leadership Collaboratory, Linked 2 Leadership, Nov. 2012.)

The gardening-themed leadership keys are :

1) Fertilize for Nourishment

“Growth of any type requires nourishment. Plants are fed with fertilizer and water. Leaders are nourished through positive interactions and learning.”

2) Transplant to Favorable Environments

“Plants require different amounts of sunlight and types of soil. Leaders thrive different types of organizational cultures and structures, although it is a challenge to change jobs, teams, or organizations.”

3) Prune Spent Blooms

“Leaders and gardeners alike must cut back the deadwood in order to make way for new growth.”

QUESTION. What other gardening-themed metaphors could be usefully applied to Leadership Studies? For inspiration, have a look at this clip from the 1979 (fictional) film ‘Being There’ – in which Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers) presents his ideas to the US President (Jack Warden).

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