Yesterday we went to The National Arboretum in Canberra (a mosaic of 94 living forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world) to see the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection.
We were lucky enough to have a guide explain the history of the Aboretum and a curator show us the difference between plants styled by the Chinese Penjing and Japanese Bonsai methods.
According to the Arboretum website, “Prior to the 2001 and 2003 Canberra bushfires, the Arboretum site was mostly covered in pine plantations (Pinus radiata).” Our guide further explained that the pine plantations replaced the Cork Oak trees, which were originally thought to be a revenue raiser for the capital, prior to cork being replaced by other synthetic materials. The capital then looked to pine trees to raise revenue.
The website continues, “Following the devastating 2003 Canberra bushfires, the Australian Capital Territory Government consulted extensively with the community and experts about the best use of the large areas of land occupied by burnt-out pine plantations, some of which were very close to Canberra.” Our guide explained that the Chief Minister for the ACT at the time had a vision for the arboretum and against public demands for hospitals, transportation and schools, he was determined to create the Arboretum.
Today the Arboretum is a huge success and as I reflected on the story, I thought about leadership and how important it is for leaders to have and share their vision and, like great role models such as Nelson Mandela and Ghandi, to stick to the vision, against the odds.
There will always be naysayers; people who think differently and who want different things.
As the leader, your job is to clearly articulate your vision and stick to it. Your job also includes engaging your people emotionally to make it happen.
When Ross and I decided we wanted to travel Australia in a motorhome, we became very clear about our vision and we shared this with anyone and everyone. We were determined to make it happen, although we didn’t know how it would manifest at the time we placed our order.
This week I urge you to invest some time on your vision. If you don’t have one, your priority is to create one. If you do have one, your priority is to engage your team and if your team are engaged, your priority is to continue to take action towards manifestation.
Remember, the most important point is to “Stick to Your Vision”.