That Rotten Jade Plant
Several years ago I had this really cool, HUGE, old Jade plant. Every time people walked into my office they would comment, “cool plant!” One time this guys came to our office from Texas and he loved it so much that I chopped off a big portion of the Jade and he took it home on the airplane and repotted it. It really was an amazing plant. In fact, there were several times I cut off big branches of that Jade and shared them with people who later told me their new plant (which was formerly connected to my plant) was thriving. Then our office changed, and frankly the entire organization kind of fell apart and the Jade was relocated to my new office space. After a few months in the new space, the Jade plant wasn’t looking so good. It had gone from healthy and robust to limp and lifeless. When the Jade plant finally fell and the once mighty plant was declared dead, I began the clean up process. What I discovered was that the inside of the trunk of the Jade was completely rotten! It was the craziest thing! There were still green leaves that appeared to be growing but the inside was completely dead. This whole Jade plant experience reminds me that what we see on the outside is not always consistent with whats on the inside. Sometimes people, families, organizations and endeavors look very good, very “up and to the right,” but the reality is that there is a rotten middle. Sometimes a rotten middle is a narcissistic leader at the helm, sometimes a rotten middle is the mismanagement of resources, and sometimes the rotten middle is a disgruntled staff. But whatever it may be, rotten middles always reveal themselves in time. That is why health is so important for leaders, families and businesses to pay attention to.