I am blessed to live in the middle of a 22 acre Almond Orchard. My home is at the end of a long crape myrtle lined driveway. I have a fence full of ivy around our home, and back yard. Beyond that I have a large Koi pond, and a horse corral. I spend my quite time sitting by our pond watching the fish, horse, and goat play looking beyond them into our orchard. It is a very affective spot to find clarity and God.
Running a large insurance brokerage is a real full time job so I hire a real farmer to take care of my orchard. That leaves me responsible for about 2 acres of landscaping and horse corrals. Although I have a gardener, they limit there activities to about a quarter acre of the manicured landscaping. Mow and blow usually.
For the most part the rest is pretty low maintenance. Clean out the pool and check the chemicals once a week. Spot check sprinkler systems, and keep the weeds down. Pretty much like any other homeowner. Except a few acres of distance to cover, and instead of one or two systems to check I have a dozen or so to keep track of.
Weeds have gotten my attention lately. Normally once a month I jump into my mule which has a 15 gallon spray rig mounted on it full of round up and some misc bug sprays mixed in to keep the ants and other crawlers down. This last year I haven’t had the time to keep up with the weeds. And of course when you don’t pay attention to weeds they tend to grow! Similarly when you don’t pay attention to business problems or poor attitudes they also seem to grow.
I see some great similarities between business and weeding. I started clearing out my 2 acres of weeds. Some up to two feet high! I would like to share with you a few of my thoughts about weeds.
When weeds first pops up they are very small and week. Just like when a bad attitude at work first pops up. If I tend my land, and spray the seedlings of these weeds when they are just getting started they quickly die, and wither away leaving no trace that they were ever there. I have many ways to deal with seedlings. One it chemical sprays, the other is a torch attached to a large propane tank. I don’t need to burn the seedlings completely to kill them; just the increased heat from the torch passing over them is enough to kill the weed when it is just sprouting. So a little heat works well on weeds and bad attitudes.
If I wait a bit and let the weeds grow even just a little, and then spray them when they die they leave more of a mess. I then have to clean up of dead grass, and stems that have to be dealt with after the weed gone. When we allow the bad attitudes of people to mature in our businesses even for a bit, they to leave behind bigger messes that has to be cleaned up once we get rid of them.
The biggest mistake I seem to make from time to time is to allow a weed to grow. In fact sometimes I have gone to the extent of allowing weeds to be fertilizing and watered along with my orchard. The funny thing is that no matter how well I take care of a weed it never magically morphs into a fruit bearing plant. Instead of course what happens is the weed gets bigger and stronger and then starts germinating spreading seeds of discontent throughout my orchard. This of course causes more weeds to begin to sprout. Funny how letting weeds grow in my orchard does about the same damage as letting bad attitudes grow in my agency.
On my farm, and in my business the best way to deal with weeds is to have a formal weed control system to find weeds as they sprout, and deals with them right away.
I have never seen a problem get better by ignoring it, or hoping it will get better on its own. Weeds and attitudes are the same way. If I let the weeds just do what they want, soon my entire orchard would be full of weeds and choke out even the healthiest of my trees. Stealing their nutrients, and taking their water.
Someone once told me they could work with anyone and make them successful. The only thing they couldn’t fix was a bad attitude.
One finaly thought. It isn't the weeds fault that it is a weed. After all, all a weed can be is a weed. If we feed and care for a weed all we can get is a strong healthy weed that will spread its seeds throughout our garden. So if we allow a weed to grow, that is our fault.