What Has Gardening Taught Me About Leadership?

Gardening teaches us the basic skill we need as a leader. Here are 5 Leadership lessons that I learn from gardening

Ravin Rau
ILLUMINATION
5 min readMar 25, 2021

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Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

I was born in a house which had an amazing garden. My parents love gardening, and since small, I was exposed to an extremely beautiful one. Since then, I fall in love with nature. I enjoy helping my parents to cultivate and take care of the garden.

Even today, gardening is one of my hobbies. 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.

The basic definition of a leader is a person in charge that motivates and inspires a group of people to achieve 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 have since birth. The traits are developed based on your experience and understanding of other people. Similar to a gardener. Here are some helpful experiences that gardening has taught me about leadership.

1. You Have to Gets Your Hands Dirty to See the Progress You Want.

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

Gardening is not an easy job. You have to get down with your hands and knees, get yourself in the dirt, understand the soil, and plant seeds in it. You have to make sure that the seed you plant can undergo germination, and when you see the first sign of life, the joy you get in yourself is hard to put in words.

Similar to that, a leader has to coach his team and mold them to be a better version of themselves. You can’t just sit and instruct your team member. A leader has to get down to the ground and teach or guide their team members about every trait they need to accomplish the mission.

This also means that you have to constantly update and upgrade yourself to be a better version of yourself, for you to become a role model or to play the role of a leader for your team.

2. Create the Right Environment for Your Team to Flourish

Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

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 way of surviving.

Some plant needs regular watering while some plants need less sunlight to stay alive. As a gardener, you need to know what is the best environment for that plant.

Same as human beings, they are different from each other. You as a leader needs to know what are their strength and weakness. From there, you can start building an environment or educate them on how to improve themselves.

As a leader, you should not compare your team members with each other even if they have similar characterization. For example, there is a difference between sugarcane and bamboo. As both plants look alike, you can’t build a house with sugarcane while you can’t take the juice out of bamboo.

3. Praise Your Team Members

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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. This will build a positive team and encourages each other to give their best at any task.

There are other 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 to lunch.

You can give a present to them that will improve their strength, and make them perform even better in the future.

4. Identify and Resolve Conflicts

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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.

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 danger.

The same thing also applies to a leader. As a leader, you need to frequently solve problems and resolve conflicts faced by your team members.

This includes you to protect and defend them, give them security for the work they are doing, train them, and frequently look after their needs in the team.

5. Be Patient and Enjoy the Progress

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

You can’t see fast results in gardening and also in building a team. It will take a long time, and you will hit many obstacles. As a gardener, I enjoy the process of gardening, even if it is tiring. Looking back at 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 of being patient all this while.

This also reflects when your team can achieve their 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.

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Ravin Rau
ILLUMINATION

Curiosity makes exploring more interesting. A JavaScript avid with so many questions about life.