Talkin’ Tech: Four Lessons from Pulling Weeds: A Memoir

Grass grows extremely fast in the Florida summers due to the constant sunshine mixed with spotty thunderstorms that provide just the right amount of water to feed the roots. Weeds grow even faster. I’m new to home ownership and have recently become highly OCD about the lawn. Having a nice lawn can show and tell a lot about a person and their families. I find it important to keep the yard clean, green, and weed free. I’ll tell you what though, weeds down here are a real terror. I recently spread fertilizer around my yard not knowing that it wasn’t the “weed eliminator” kind. What a waste! The struggle is real and constant. After dinner, I go out and pull weeds in the back lawn for a half hour or so, trying to get them from the roots (and often failing). I came to a few realizations in business that can easily relate to pulling weeds, their growth patterns, and their behavior.

  1. Pulling out the root-  We were all taught as little kids that you need to pull the weed from the root. If not, the weed will grow back and possibly be even bigger and stronger. You can relate this to any problem that you come across in business. If you encounter a challenge or problem, you need to find the source of the problem and act accordingly. You can’t put a band-aid on it, or pull off the leaves. You can’t ignore it, or the weed will continue to grow. You have to ask yourself a series of questions and investigate the issue to find the “Root Cause.” I knew they called it that for a reason! 

  2. Weeds tend to hang out with other weeds Have you ever been on a team where there were a small number of “problem children” that would disagree with the rest of the group? Negative people like to hang around with negative people. Once they start spewing the negativity, they are likely to pull in other people to their way of thinking. The weeds spread and start to take over the green grass. If you keep letting it go, weeds can become rampant in your lawn. Negative people in the company can become the norm. The best way to handle this is to pick the weed right in the beginning and then put in the preventative measures to ensure they do not grow again. Let the first negative person go and ensure that the HR process on the front end aligns with your company and culture, ultimately striving to hire a “perfect fit.” 

  3. Pulling weeds in a never-ending process – There will always be weeds in the end. We live in Florida. There is no such thing as the perfect lawn. It is a constant struggle to find the right people in business. There will always be negative people on the team, but you always want to be addressing those people to try and help them. HR departments and management teams need to always keep watch over the lawn, ensuring that when the opportunity to replace a weed for a comparable, positive selection, they are ready to act swiftly. 

  4. It is hard work – By the end of pulling weeds, both my hands and my back hurt (bend with the knees, not the back Ryan). It’s not a pleasant job. I really had to get in there on all fours and scour the grass searching for my next victim. Replacing negative team members, or letting anyone go for that matter, is not an easy task. It takes a level of professionalism and experience to handle the situation gracefully. However, it is an extremely important and necessary job function in order to maintain a rewarding team culture. Pulling weeds might leave you with some bumps, bruises, and dirt under the fingernails, but it is worth the smooth looking lawn in the end.

Who would have thought an after dinner, weed-pulling session would turn into a rewarding experience. I am going to make this a daily event.

Who am I kidding? I am a “millennial.” Instant gratification. Where’s the Roundup?

Hi! I’m Ryan, Manager of Service Delivery. I’m here to answer your technology questions and help you grow and improve your business! I consult with customers like you every day, and they bring up really great questions that we see on a recurring basis. We hope that discussing these topics will give each of you a better understanding on how leveraging technology can add value to your business. I’m here to provide advice and guidance as needed. Happy Reading and thank you!