As I pulled up the driveway, I knew Cece was in her element. She was muddy from head to toe and plants, flowers, water hoses and clippers were scattered everywhere. She got her love of gardening from her late father, Poppy.
As I walked up to hear the latest gardening updates, she had the clippers whirling on the rose bushes. “Cece, aren’t you being a little aggressive with those clippers?” I asked. She replied, “Poppy always said to have the prettiest roses, you have to prune them as they produce more blooms than the individual plant can support.” I must admit, Poppy had some beautiful rose gardens although I’m not sure he enjoyed the pruning as much as Cece, but I kept that thought to myself.
But pruning is not just for roses. It’s extremely important for our businesses, careers and personal lives as we can quickly have more blooms than we can actually support. If we continue to add & add & add without pruning, our lives, careers and businesses get more complex with less clarity and frankly, we generate average results.
In Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud points out the value and necessity to prune so we can bloom to our full potential.
Pruning may not be fun (unless you’re Cece), but it is critical on our journey to greatness. As we look for things to prune, I hope these questions help provide some clarity.
- What are we working on that has no real future based on current hard trends?
- What are we working on that, if we tripled our market share, would not achieve a critical mass for long-term success?
- What are we committing to personally that is keeping us busy, but not growing us?
- Who are we spending time with that could be sucking up all of our water and nutrients which leaves us barren for growth?
- When was the last time we said no to an opportunity?
Just as pruning provides a healthier and prettier rose bush, it does the same for our businesses and careers. Let’s get those clippers out!