Watering The Flowers

During a recent conversation with a friend who manages a large garden center, she shared a story about an employee at her workplace.  The employee was feeling overwhelmed about having to water all the plants and flowers in the greenhouse.   My friend reassured the employee by saying she would pick up where they left off at the end of the shift.  The employee began watering the flowers; my friend checked back to see how they were doing.  The employee was still fearful of not completing the task; my friend once again assured them that she would pick up watering where they left off at the end of the workday.  As the day came to an end, the employee approached my friend with excitement.  They had watered all the plants!  They could not believe they completed the task that eight hours before seemed like an impossible feat.  They left for the day, excited about accomplishing something they had never done before.

The Moral of the Story?

There are opportunities we have throughout the day to get worried that we will not complete what we set out to do.  Sometimes that worry stops us from achieving and reaching our potential.  Some people will encourage us and assure us that they will pick up where we left off.  They will help us to do things that they believe we are capable of doing even when we are worried about lacking the skills required.  There will be times that doubt will still creep in, but re-assurance that the person is there can be just the motivation needed to keep going.

In the end, with the knowledge that someone will be there to help you if needed, you can accomplish much more than if you feel you carry the burden of the assignment alone.

Leaders of the world can choose to pick up where their employees leave off or question the employee for not achieving the goals that you have set for them.  Leaders have a choice to assess if the goals were out of reach or if they did not provide support to the employee or if they were not willing to pick up where they left off.

If you are not willing or able to pick up where others left off because you as the leader have too much to do, then perhaps it is time to re-assess what it is that you have required of others.


Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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  1. In my opinion, a good leader must have a thorough knowledge of the potential of his collaborators and, therefore, be able to plan their work and that of others, which means, for example, to be present on time at meetings or to define expectations and action plans in a clear way. This does not mean that the leader has to make his team do everything, but listening to their suggestions helps to increase their commitment. If the result is not what the leader expects, he must let it be known, but do it in a way that allows them to learn and improve, so that they know how to avoid the mistake next time. When a leader provides feedback, he “signals” that he is concerned with the growth of the follower and career development and wants to help the person reach his or her potential.

  2. Raissa, thank you for writing and sharing your article. Leaders have to set reasonable expectations that take into account (as much as possible and wherever possible) each individual’s mental capacities. Having an understanding shoulder or a willing ear can make an immeasurable difference in how a person performs at work or in the overall quality and satisfaction of their lives. In addition to being an exceptionally talented artist, you also have a keen understanding of the human condition that projects you as being a person who has great compassion for their fellow human being.