Message from Julie: Trees and Organizations Need Deep Root Systems

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My parent’s neighbor’s large oak tree toppled over during a recent storm. The tree had a shallow root system and it was uprooted by the wind. The site of this huge tree, lying on its side with the root ball totally exposed, reminded me that both trees and organizations need a strong root system to withstand storms. 

For organizations, the root system consists of relationships. Relationships with employees, customers, vendors, and the community.  

When I interviewed the owners of two businesses for a recent article on resilient leadership it struck me that both had developed strong relationships (or deep roots) with their communities at all levels before the pandemic and how focused they were on continuing to serve their communities during the pandemic. 

Brothers Juan and Brent Reaves, owners of Smokey Johns BarBQue told me what they learned from a fire that destroyed the restaurant in 2017, which they described as a dress rehearsal for the pandemic, was the need to stay connected to your people – your team and community. 

Samantha Martin, owner of The Mat Yoga Studio, related her initial hesitancy in offering virtual classes because in her words: “There are a lot of famous Yoga instructors already on the internet.” But she overcame that resistance because she realized what she and her team had built was a community and that the community needed to stay connected.  

The root system of relationships developed by these two organizations has served them and more importantly, their employees, customers, and communities during this storm. 

What actions are you taking to deepen the root system of your relationships? 

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Julie Chance

POSTED ON: Case Studies, Leadership, Teamwork, Uncategorized
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