None of the thumbs in our house are green.
Despite this well-known fact, We planted a dogwood tree in our front yard last fall. The whole family got involved—the kids helped dig the hole, drop the sapling in, replace the dirt, and water it down. We prayed for the leafless structure all winter, hoping it would survive. We rejoiced together at the green buds peeking out in spring. And we beamed with pride at the broad leaves that summer pushed out of the branches.
Then we went on vacation.
We came home, after a couple of weeks, to a nice brown lawn and a dogwood that was shriveling up before our eyes. The historic drought of 2012 had begun.
Only after googling dogwood trees did I learn they need a bit of shade and plenty of water to survive. What I had thought just a few weeks prior was a healthy tree with big green leaves was actually already dying on the inside.
The whole experience made me wonder: Where else in my life am I assuming everything is going well, business as usual, no worries? Is there a project that’s humming along that may not be going as well as I’m telling myself it is? Is there someone on my team who seems to be doing well, but may actually be near the end of their rope? Are my closest relationships as healthy as I think, or is one dying and I don’t even realize it?
Dare to ask the questions now—before it’s too late. Challenge the assumptions you’re basing your project decisions on. Ask your people—even your top performers—how they are doing. Ask those closest to you how you are doing and what you could be doing to serve them better.
We’ve been trying to nurse the dogwood back to health, but honestly, I don’t know if it’ll make it. It may be too little too late. Don’t let the same happen to you with a project, a person, or a relationship.
Who or what are you neglecting right now that may not be as healthy as you think it is?