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What I Learned from my Olive Tree

by | Mar 19, 2018

olive tree

The moment I saw her, I knew she had to be mine. I know, I know. You’re like “Whoa, whoa, wait, what??!!” Just calm down, I am talking about Olive, who is obviously my olive tree. I wasn’t at some trendy plant shop or fancy nursery, though. I was at Walmart! This Olive tree was SAD, not too many branches and kind of lopsided, but still, I had to have her. I had done my research (obviously on Pinterest), and Olive was the new Fiddle, so I had to give it a whirl. I brought her home, trimmed her up, placed her on our porch, and proceeded to forget about her over the next three months. “How?” you say, “can you forget about a tree that is living right outside your front door?” My answer is simple – I just did. I saw her as I was coming and as I was going. My hands are almost always full of various children and groceries, so I am sure you understand. I am not a complete monster. I watered her from time to time, but did not give her the attention that an Olive tree truly needs.

So, as you see, waving hello to my tree and thinking about watering it was not going to do the trick.

When I saw my tree was nearly dead, I brought it indoors leaving a trail of dead leaves as I walked. It was nearly naked! I had stuck my fiddle leaf fig in the shower before to simulate rainfall and it had worked wonders, so I thought I would do the same for Miss Olive. I hopefully showered her a couple times throughout the month and placed her in a sunny spot in our dining room. I removed all her dead leaves until she was nearly bare and unrecognizable. Then I waited.

Nothing seemed to be happening, so I walked over to her one day with every intention of getting rid of her. It seemed like she was just taking up space. But then I saw them. Babies!! Well, sprouts – new growth. I kid you not. I almost cried.

The truth is, new growth can only happen when the old, dead things are removed, pruned, stripped away, and when what is left is nourished to bloom into its full potential. Miss Olive has taught me a lot about leadership. Leadership is not maintaining the current phase. It is knowing when it is time to move over, cultivate change, and make room for new growth. This is relevant within any business model. Change is a’comin’ so we operate under the understanding that it is better to be prepared to train and mentor others than compete for a spot on the ever changing food chain. Plus, we just LOVE helping others succeed.

Then there is home life…. the season of toddlerhood is trying. Can I get an amen? But, a the old Chinese Proverb goes “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” If I want to raise helpful, honest, cheerful, hardworking men and women, they need the opportunity to practice at home. So, for a four year old that may mean feeding the puppies and watering the grass (with no reward but very happy puppies and parents and some nice green grass). For a three year old that may mean getting the mail with daddy’s help and delivering it to an overly excited mama. Making room for their growth may mean letting go of a perfectly made bed and embracing a bed made by a toddler who tried his very best.

This Olive tree should have her own blog. Just saying.

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