All the tall trees like coconut tree, palm tree, giant eucalyptus, tall redwood of California etc., do bend and lean greatly when a heavy wind blows. Do they bend and lean because they are weak or they do so, because they are strong? Indeed they bend and lean largely because they are strong. To protect their strength only they move hither and thither when wind blows.
Moving with the tune of time or with the need should not be always considered as sign of weakness. One should ask whether such movements are due to weakness or one 'appear' sometime weak, to protect ones strength.
The greatest management insight the 'trees during tempest' teach the corporate is that it is not the strength that protect the strength but only knowing the 'weakness of the strength' and playing accordingly help one to protect the 'strength'. Only the weak 'fuse wise' saves the electric appliance from burning in most instances.
If a lion believe that it can show its strength to its prey animals as it is indeed strong and thereby it can catch them, they never able to catch any prey. If lion goes as very weak, hiding and less noticed, it can win the hunt. Arrogance is weakness and humility is strength. But, the most corporate and its employees believe that aggression and arrogance are the best way to get things done.
Corporate bosses usually believe that being strict and unbending is the best way to show that they are tough task masters. Being a tough task master without accomplishing the task is of no use. Be tough and not getting any result or be lenient and get the best results, which is wise, one need to introspect.
Only those who consider themselves as leaders know that bending is not weakness and it is indeed, strength.
Being rigid or being flexible should be strictly linked to the result and the situation. The tallest trees are the one that bend the most when wind blows. When they are tall, they are at the risk of breaking, if they refuse to bend and remain firm.
People in the corporate while disposing their strength and rigidity, also need to be flexible and soft to the realities. If such balance is not exerted, the results can be disastrous.
Trees in the forest can tell the corporate how they should train the people to be achievers and not just exhibitors of either their 'strength' or 'weakness'. Situational reality and absolute reality can always be different. One needs to accept the situational reality with the complete cognition of the absolute reality.
The distinction between what is perceived and what is real, the corporate employees must know. The tall trees bend when wind blows while the grass and under story plants may remain unshaken. By looking at the above, one should not conclude that the tall trees are weaker than the grass and that is why they move badly with wind. If one fail to cognize the real from the perception, such people only can prove disaster and dismay to the corporate. Unfortunately many corporate leaders love to proclaim publicly that they are very rigid and unbending. What they intern tells to the world is that they are stupid. The above statement is not mine, that is what the tall trees in nature convey.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai
Learn more from the management book – 'Jungle wisdom for corporate management – lessons from university of nature' by Swami Sukhabodhananda and Dr S Ranganathan