Contributed by Molly Grisham - Founding Partner of Success for Teams and owner at A Person of Influence, LLC
When I was a kid there was a tree in our front yard. I used to race home from elementary school to climb that tree. I wanted to see just how high I could climb. I loved to push my luck as I inched dangerously higher and higher than the day before. As a kid, it was all about how high I could climb but as an adult I often find myself thinking more about a tree’s roots and less about how high the branches extend.
Roots matter. They provide a tree with the nutrients it needs to survive. Deep roots also provide a tree with the stability it needs to withstand a storm. Strong winds may come but a tree with deep roots will survive that storm.
But the redwood trees are an exception to this truth. These trees often grow to well over 300 feet tall and many can be found standing strong at 20 plus feet in diameter. People travel the globe just to see the redwoods with their own eyes. These trees tower over all other trees and their height alone should make them susceptible to damage. A redwood should be an easy target in a heavy rainstorm, a tornado, or when lightning is present, but these trees are very resilient. By looking at a redwood one could easily assume that their roots go to the center of the earth to supply all the nutrients and stability that such a massive living structure would need to survive. But that isn’t the case. The redwoods have a unique root system that typically goes just 6-12 feet deep. How is it possible that these trees rarely fall over?
The redwoods stay standing because their shallow roots intertwine with the roots of the other redwood trees so they are literally holding each other up. The trees grow in close proximity to each other so they can share nutrients and physically support each other. Beneath the surface, it’s as if the redwoods are standing with their arms locked together. They are saying, “we are in this together, we are one, if you want to knock one of us down, you’ll have to knock us all down.” Their roots provide strength and their strength lies in their connection with each other.
The moral of the story? Plant yourself next to good people and find ways to purposefully connect with them. When you do you will find that you can survive the most difficult trials by relying on and providing for those around you.
Being connected to others matters. When people and teams stay connected they share their resources and provide strength for each other and when that happens everyone has the potential to grow to new heights.
What are your roots connected to?