“Pruning is a joyous art of
cutting away the spent
to make light and space for new life.”
-K. Elting Brock
Welcome to 2016. It seems that winter has finally decided to show up. And so now the frenetic pace of 2015 has begun to slow and we find ourselves falling into the mellow groove of winter. Oh sure, there is plenty to be done but without clear deadline. How eeeeasssssyyy it is to procrastinate away the filing, cleaning and preparation tasks when we have seemingly endless amounts of time in which to get it all done. But how quickly the endless time flies by and before we know it, we are busy again.
Here at Ruppert Nurseries, pruning is one of our main winter objectives. To date we have winter pruned 14,000 trees out of our goal of 21,000. Our field staff is busy pruning trees from the ground as well as crown pruning from an elevated rack. Perhaps, more importantly they are working hard on staying warm! Pruning is one of our most important tasks as it allows us to shape and strengthen the canopies of our trees as well as remove any defects or correct any potential issues. To simplify, we prune our trees to make them better.
The concept of pruning can be applied across the board to our lives as well. What will you choose to prune out this winter to make yourself or your business better? For many of us, we strive to shed that excess holiday weight. No one needs that kind of dead wood hanging around; making us slow when we need to be quick. For some, we need to take the pruning shears to our budgets to find the money to pay off the holidays, fund a vacation, buy a car or simply beef up our savings. And still others might need to free ourselves of relationships that weigh us down.
And speaking of relationships, in the business best seller, “Good to Great”, author Jim Collins says the following:
“Getting the right people on the team comes BEFORE vision, strategy and tactics”
If you think carefully about the wisdom of the aforementioned line, you can find relevance in every facet of your life. I could argue that having the right people in your corner is the most important and comforting thing one can have. The right partner will prop you up and support you in times of need. The right friends will be there for you to share your good times with laughter and the bad times with a strong shoulder. The right coworkers or employees will put the good of the whole first over personal aspirations. Having these types of people in place (on the right seats on your bus) is critical to success. You may not even know just how important or “right” these people are until tested. But when you find that magic combination; great things can happen!
But sometimes some branches, some partners, some friends, some coworkers can become damaged. And when that happens, sometimes a painful pruning cut must be done. But in the end, the cuts we make, much like the loss of a crooked branch will make us better. A reminder of what has already been said, “We prune to make things better”.
Whatever the thing is you need to lose, be it dead wood or dead weight; now is the time to do it. Seize this day and this time; make the most of the cold, slow days. There are only 65 more days until the first day of spring; it will be here before you know it!