Andrea Putting – Speaker, Author Podcaster

Andrea Putting

Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor

Bonsai or Forest? What’s your Leadership Style?

Being a Stealth leader can be like be a gardener.

You prepare the soil ready for your seed. The ground is weeded, turned over, fertilised, the seed planted and watered. You nurture this little seed with the vision of it becoming a mighty tree. It might be a fruit tree or a massive elm tree. Whatever it is you see and dream about the potential of what you have planted.

As the tree starts to sprout and take shape you then have options. What kind of tree are you going to allow this tree to grow into.

Are you going to take to it with the pruning shears, are you going to control and tame it take shape just exactly your way? Or are you going to let it grow and develop to become what it is this tree wants to become?

A good question. The type of leadership that a business has will shape the future of the business, just like a gardener shaping the tree. If you prune and shape the tree continuously, taking control at every turn, controlling exactly what happens every day, what are you going to get? A Bonsai. So, if you’d been hoping for a big shady tree or an abundance of fruit, this isn’t going to do it, is it? The tree’s growth and development has been severely limited. It will never be any bigger than this tiny version of itself. It doesn’t matter if it was the biggest tree ever in existence, if it’s growth has been limited like this, it might just be 30cm high.

Maybe you want your tree to grow, but still want to control the way it grows, so it does it “my way.” I want my tree to be this shape and fill this space. Then you might take to it with Espalier and grow a flat tree against a wall. Yes, your business is growing and bearing fruit, but it is always going to be a flat tree against a wall -limited.

Suddenly you have a vision of what the tree could become and start at it with the pruning shears, chopping away at this branch and that branch, clearing off the new growth, so that it will look all pretty in the garden, with Topiary. How many businesses do this. There it is, new growth, new possibilities coming along and chop, no, doesn’t fit the image, or the idea of the leader. Healthy branches maybe closed down, because simply, no we want to focus in this direction.

Or, we can grow our tree and allow it to grow and develop the way it is meant to. Allowing new growth to come forth, reaching up to the sky or out to the furthest limits. It produces new seeds, new opportunities. Branches sprout forth where you don’t expect them to. You watch it and ensure that it has all that it needs to continue growing and be healthy. Sometimes you might need to prune a little, to clear off dead branches or ensure that it doesn’t have an insect infestation, but most of all, you nourish it, feed it, water it and give it the space it needs to grow.

Businesses like this are the ones that are forging ahead, who dominate the scenery. They are innovative, they are in the forefront of the consumers mind. They are the businesses that are out there changing the landscape of what it means to be a business in the 21st century – a business with social conscious, that creates not just a business, but an ecosystem.

When you let a tree truly flourish, grow and reach out to be all that it can, it isn’t just a tree. It really can become an ecosystem. As it grows, it sprouts more and more seeds. If you continue to nurture the environment, you start to notice seedlings appear all around. Here you have the potential, of not a tree, it has the potential to become a whole forest.

So, the question is; do you want your business to be a bonsai or a forest?

Andrea Putting is a Business Soul Mentor, Thought Leader and Speaker. Her new book Awakening the Soul of Business with Stealth Leadership takes you on a journey to becoming an authentic leader who develops their team and business opportunities to empower the Ultimate Impact. Come with her on a journey  to becoming an authentic leader who develops their team and business opportunities to empower the Ultimate Impact. Pre-orders of the new book are now available at along with bonuses that will have your inspiring your team and unleashing your ULTIMATE IMPACT on the world.

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