The Dying Tree – Roots

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on

It was summer, last session coming back from a construction site and full of emotions. I went to the park to clear my head before going home. At the park I met an old man, we gritted, and he started the conversation.  What is eating you, my son? I responded, the employees are not happy, and I cannot assist them this time. How big is the problem?  I’m not sure but the morale and results are gone. That bad, this means the tree is dying since roots are getting weak said the old man. I asked, what do you mean? The old man gave me a good one-hour lecture about the structure of the tree and the importance of the roots. 

Hours later, I was home and recalling what the old man was saying. I started looking at the tree with the old man eyes. I found out that the Tree of Life symbol represents our personal development, uniqueness and individual beauty. Just as the branches of a tree strengthen and grow upwards to the sky, we too grow stronger, striving for greater knowledge, wisdom and new experiences as we move through life. The Tree of Life symbol also represents the connection to one’s family and ancestors. The Tree of Life has an intricate network of branches that represents how a family grows and expands throughout many generations. It also symbolizes fertility as it always finds a way to keep growing, through seeds or new saplings, and is lush and green, which signifies its vitality. 

The roots play a very vital role in the structure of the tree. Roots are the underground branches of the tree. They reach down into the ground to get the minerals and water for the tree’s growth. The roots also anchor the tree in the ground. The more the branches grow and expand in the crown, the more they grow deep and wide under the ground. The roots of a tree are the parts that don’t bear any nodes, nor do they ever leaf. They are the base of the tree. Just like a house, the stronger the base, the stronger the structure will be. Everyone knows that tree roots are important to a tree. But do you know why they’re so important? Well, without the roots, the tree would not be able to survive; it’s as simple as that. Just like the organisation that does not value its employees.

The tree structure is well illustrated by Stephen Covey speed of trust 4 Cores of Credibility

Integrity: To use the metaphor of the tree, integrity is the root. Even though it’s underground and not even visible most of the time, it is vital to the nourishment, strength, stability, and growth of the entire tree. 

Intent: In the dictionary, the intent is defined as “plan” or “purpose.” No discussion of intent would be complete without talking about three things: motive, agenda, and behaviour.

Capabilities: Using the metaphor of a tree, capabilities are the branches that produce the fruits or the results. Capabilities are particularly essential in today’s changing economy, where technology and globalisation are outdating skill sets faster than ever before.

Results: Results matter! They matter to your credibility. In the words of Jack Welch, having results is like having “performance chits” on the table

What fascinated me is the positioning of the integrity and intent in the 4 cores of credibility in the tree structure. They have a character of the ROOTS, that create capabilities and results. I recalled that the old man said almost something. The ROOTS is the anchor for the tree, the tree will not survive without the roots. If the employees represent the roots and organisation represent the tree. The old man is correct to say the tree is dying. This tree will lose its uniqueness, strength, energy to strive for greatness and growth.

The character of the word ROOTS made me ask the positivemind question, what is in the word ROOTS illustrated by quotes.

Respect: “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” Bruce Lee

Offer: Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer. Rick Pitino

Operative: The employee is regarded by the employer merely in the light of his value as an operative. His productive capacity alone is taken into account. Leland Stanford

Thriving: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou

Success: A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. David Brinkley

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