“The purpose of pruning is to improve the quality of the roses, not to hurt the bush” (Florence Littauer)

Pruning involves the selective removal of “diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound or otherwise unwanted plant material from crop and landscape plants” (Wikipedia). Some horticulturalists call the categories “The 4 D’s: diseased, dead, damaged and deranged”. In general, the smaller the branch that is cut, the easier it is for a woody plant to compartmentalise the wound and thus limit the potential for pathogen intrusion or decay. Most horticulturalists give the following reasons to prune plants:


“Occasionally the world witnesses a heroic feat or discovers a person with rare talent…but most people know there is another type of greatness that tends to be more quiet by nature, one that generally escapes the headlines. Yet, it is a greatness that, in my opinion, is deserving of higher honour, even more respect. I call it everyday greatness” (Dr Stephen R Covey)

How a leader “shows up” daily either inspires or disappoints employees. It energises everyone or leads to emotional depletion. It boosts morale or creates unhappiness. It reinforces direction or creates confusion. It creates a sense of emotional…


“It is unhealthy to marinate in your own press clippings” (Sam Walton)

Humility is the hallmark of true leadership. Those in leadership who display humility recognise that they have been put in a position to serve others, create opportunity for others and bring out the best in others. Humility empowers others. It sets an example of the need to care for people. It focuses externally on hardship, poverty and pain and is not self-seeking. It creates the environment where everyone’s voices can be heard. It empathises with those who are struggling and seeks real solutions to comfort and lift those…


“Success is never owned. It’s rented and rent is due every day” (Anon)

In 1947, the transistor was invented by Bell Laboratories, the research arm of AT&T. Almost immediately, it could be seen that the transistor would replace the bulkier, more expensive and less reliable vacuum tubes that, at that time, were the key components in any radio or television set. Of importance and rather strangely, nobody did anything about it — at least not in the United States of America. The leading USA manufacturers were proud of their Super Heterodyne radio sets, which were the ultimate in craftsmanship and…


“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own” (Benjamin Disraeli)

When we treat people with respect, we help them gain confidence and reveal inner potential that otherwise might go untapped. Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him or her and to let him or her know that you trust him or her. This form of employee engagement and subsequent empowerment, unfortunately, seems to be overtaken by the desire for power, status and control in many leaders. …


“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion” (Paulo Coelho)

While meaningful words do have positive impact and can indeed encourage, persuade and influence, actions speak louder than words. Though opinions are important, though convictions carry a lot of weight, though what we think and what we say are both important, they rarely rise to the significance of our example — nor are they generally as influential.

We may certainly value what someone has to say. It is important to know the opinions of others and for them to know our respective opinions. When it comes to…


“The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious” (Ted Levitt)

A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing or engineering drawing using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. Introduced by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the process allowed rapid and accurate production of an unlimited number of copies. It was widely used for over a century for the reproduction of specification drawings used in construction and industry. The blueprint process was characterized by white lines on a blue background, a negative of the original. The process was not able to reproduce colour or shades…


The “sweet spot”, a term used typically in relation to the best point of ball impact on clubs used in the sport of golf, is often misused by club manufacturers when they boast that their clubs have “a larger sweet spot” — suggesting that amateurs have less chance of messing up the shot when they hit the ball. This isn’t true, however, as the “sweet spot” on any golf club is a point on the club face that is no bigger than the sharp end of a pin. Nothing that equipment manufacturers can do can ever make it bigger.

The…


“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great” (Bill Bennot)

Force majeure is a common clause in contracts which essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or sudden legal changes prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. Explicitly excluded is any event described as an act of God, which covers a separate domain and legally differs, yet it is still related to contract law. …


Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads (Back to the Future — 1985)

The world is quite different now — the very concept of “team” has been challenged, revised and reconstructed. On the one hand, globalisation has accelerated the employ of diverse and remote teams, where team members operate from many different countries in the world. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic, with its need for physical distancing, has forced our hand towards remote work, where team members now never get to “see” each other apart from necessary video calls. One of the preferred recruiting lines, and subsequent…

Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.

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