Why A Walk In The Woods Is Good For Your Business

Confession time: I am an unabashed tree lover. For me, trees are the ultimate example of leadership. When I walk through a forest, surrounded by trees, both tall and small, I experience a sense of connection like nowhere else. The forest is a wonderful role model for cooperation, health and vitality..

Beyond my personal love of trees, we know trees support life on Earth by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and turning it into oxygen. In many ways trees are the lungs of the Earth. And just as trees are essential to our environment for sustaining life, as a leader you too are essential for creating a flourishing business environment.

One of the most noble of all trees is the Great Sequoia. Named in honor of the Cherokee Sequoyah (1767–1843), Austrian etymologist, Stephen L. Endlicher coined the name “Sequoia” as both a description of the tree’s genus and an honor to the indigenous man he admired. Often referred to as gentle giants, the Great Sequoias can live for thousands of years and are strong and massive, with some soaring as tall as a 30-story building and some as wide as 30 feet.

Beyond my personal love of trees,  we know trees support life on Earth by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and turning it into oxygen. To my mindYou can think of, trees are the lungs of the Earth. And just as trees are essential to our environment for sustaining life, you too are essential for creating a flourishing business environment.

The oldest and dare I say it, most noble of all trees is the Great Sequoia. Named in honor of the Cherokee Sequoyah (1767–1843), Austrian etymologist, Stephen L. Endlicher coined the name “Sequoia” as both a description of the tree’s genus and an honor to the indigenous man he admired. Often referred to as gentle giants, the Great Sequoias can live for thousands of years and are strong and massive, with some soaring as tall as a 30-story building and some as wide as 30 feet.

Natural Patterns of Success

As a conscious leader, you might want to think of your organization as a forest, each person playing a unique yet essential role in the health of the entire workplace environment. You may see yourself as the Sequoia while your team members are of another variety that contributes equally to the regenerative process of the whole.

What We Can Learn From All Trees

  • They “Communicate” — Trees all over the world form a symbiotic relationship with underground fungi that send threads, or so-called mycelium, throughout the soil to absorb nutrients and water, especially phosphorus and nitrogen. An exchange of nutrients, between the mycelium and the tree, takes place from which both benefit.
  • They Co-operate — This network also connects one tree’s root system to another in which the trees cooperate by sending nutrients and carbon back and forth, even if they compete for one another’s space. Even in a healthy competitive atmosphere, there is enough to go around for everyone.
  • They “Encourage” — Think of your team as a similar network, each feeding the other, urging each other on to be the best they can be. When the roots of your organization are strong, and you take on the role of the Sequoia patiently leading the way, the entire enterprise is positioned to thrive.

Did You Know?

Do you know the difference between a WOOD and a FOREST? According to the U.S. National Vegetation Classification system, the difference lies in their tree densities. Woodland is described as a space with a low density of trees whose crowns are not touching, typically with an underlay of some shrubs and herbaceous grasses. A forest is a dense, tree-dominated landscape equal to or higher than five meters. Wherever you decide to interact with trees, they can teach us so much.

Next Steps

Conscious action: Take a deep breath and an even deeper dive into your local forest. Observe what happens there. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you sense? How does the interaction you experience there apply to your workplace environment? How might you translate Nature’s lesson to your own business today?

Please enjoy my free eBook, A Quick-Start Guide to Conscious Leadership 

I will plant a tree in your name when you download a copy.