Are You a Good Gardener?

In: BlogDate: Oct 24, 2011By: Henry Stewart

Last Friday I gave a talk at London Business School to help launch their report on Employee Centred Management with HCL (a hugely inspirational Indian IT company).

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More on that to come. But I was really taken by a blog by Zoe Bunter, in response to what I said about the focus of management being about making people happy. Here’s an extract:

"So, surely leadership is about creating the right environment to enable people to use, express and give what is already inside of them. I recently gave a presentation about leadership where I planted a sunflower seed. A sunflower seed doesn’t need to be told how to become a sunflower. It doesn’t need training to develop from a tiny unpromising-looking small hard thing into a beautiful, astonishingly large, bright yellow flower. It has all that potential and ability to realise this, inside of itself. What it does need though is the right environment."

“It needs somewhere to put roots down – a healthy culture that will give it stability and sustenance as it grows. It needs nutrients and water to feed it and enable it to grow. It needs the light and warmth of the sun. In a similar way, we need a place to put roots down – a sense of belonging and the support of colleagues is very important to many of us. We need food and water – guidance, direction, the passion of others, their skills, challenges, new ideas and new approaches (to name but a few). And we need warmth and light – encouragement, care, support through the tough times, praise, appreciation, love – expressed in many, many different ways.”

You can read Zoe’s full blog, Are you a good gardener?, on her website.

Related blogs

  • Happy Workplaces are More Successful -Learn more about the link between increased happiness in the workplace and success in this blog.

  • Let People Choose Their Managers-One of the most common complaints in the workplace is that people love their job but clash with their manager, what if solving that problem was as simple as letting them choose who they want instead?

  • Are you Really Listening and Valuing your Team? -You can't manage effectively if you don't listen to and value what your team has to say. Learn more about true collaboration and the value that can add to your team.

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, originally set up as Happy Computers in 1987. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he has built a company which has won multiple awards for some of the best customer service in the country and being one of the UK’s best places to work.

Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential management thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business," explained list compiler Stuart Crainer.

His first book, Relax, was published in 2009. His second book, the Happy Manifesto, was published in 2013 and was short-listed for Business Book of the Year.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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