LEADERSHIP: When is a Good Time To Prune?

Things that are alive need to be pruned to thrive.

Pruning is not reactive, it’s pro-active.

John 15:1-2 (NLT) – Jesus said, “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”

Lessons from the Garden

  • Prune because there are more “buds” than the bush can sustain. Prune the Good.  Prune the 80% so the top 20% can be your best.  Learn to prune before the end of the life cycle of a product or concept.
  • Prune because there are branches that are sick and will not get well. There are sick areas of a business that will never get better.  You need to cut it out to get healthy.  These are big decisions and can be a risk, however, once you prune the terminally sick aspect of a business you realize it was the right decision.
  • Prune because there are dead branches. Dead things are quiet; yet they still suck life from an organization.

Develop a Pruning Mindset

  • Evaluate all aspects of your life/business and prune the good, the sick and the dead. Doing this will get you to the best.

What if you feel the person, product or project is good and you want to make it great instead of pruning?

  • There are times when the “good” can become “great”, but it will need the necessary resources that will make it great.  Be willing to invest to get the “good” to become “great”.

How do you know what is well, sick or dead?

  • Look at the sick items and see if you have done everything you can to get it well. If yes, and there has been no change then it’s time to cut.  Also, some products just have a life cycle that has come to an end (e.g. the phone book, pay phones, many newspapers and magazines, etc…).

Skills to Learn

  • Make pruning normal and part of your quarterly reviews
  • As a leader you need to be loving and realize there is a difference between hurting and harming the things you are pruning. You must prune because you know that it will hurt but it will bring about greater growth.  If you are pruning and it causes harm, realize that it will bring damage to both the organization and the thing bringing pruned.
  • Have a target to prune towards. Before you start pruning you need to know what specific results you want to see.

Great Leaders are Great Pruners!

How do you prune regularly?

  • Don’t get in the habit of pruning in a crisis.
  • Prune along the way. Learn to prune even when you see that things are going well.  As a leader you need to prune some of the “well” to get to the best.

Consider a Consultant

Need help sorting through what you need to prune and when to prune?  Set up a consultation to work out these issues in your business or life.  Email Terry today to set up a meeting:  terry.porter@healthfio.com



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