Leaders as Gardeners: Hidden-ness Part 1

In this post I want to focus on one of the most significant aspects of waiting – hidden-ness. The link to the garden is the seed which is planted out of sight and in its infancy at least grows in the secret place.

I believe 'hidden-ness' is a hugely important concept in personal growth and development and one that leaders as gardeners understand and work with in helping the people they lead to grow.

So what is the principle of hidden-ness? Put simply it suggests:

As we grow but also as we embark on new phases of our journey we often find ourselves hidden, seemingly out of sight, travelling unnoticed and unrecognised, even perhaps feeling overlooked and ignored, but all the time we are growing, steadily and surely, if imperceptibly.

• Perhaps the most important and fundamentally shaping part of our journey of growth and development takes place in the secret place, out of sight.

• To avoid or cut short hidden-ness is to risk premature exposure to environmental conditions that at the right stage of maturity would be healthy but at too early a stage are damaging, even fatal.

If any of this is right then the principle of hidden-ness is hugely important and is the reason why I believe leaders as gardeners help those they lead to embrace hidden-ness– to wait well in private so that one day they can thrive well in public.

How we respond to hidden-ness defines us as much as anything does. It is said that it is not so much what happens to us that shapes us but how we respond to what happens to us.

Leaders as gardeners help those they lead to respond well to hidden-ness.

Mark Lawrence is a leadership and culture consultant