Tumbleweeds and Redwoods: Tumbleweed Mindset or Majestic Redwood Mindset?

How your mindset determines your outcome

As a kid growing up in Central California, I was always fascinated with tumbleweeds. California and other dry, arid climates produce these large round plants. Like a scene right out of an old western movie, you knew there was trouble brewing when you saw tumbleweeds rolling down a deserted ghost town. Once mature, tumbleweeds dry out because of their shallow, one root system. When the first strong wind comes, the tumbleweed is lifted away, rolling and tumbling around wherever the wind happens to blow it. The Tumbleweed never knows where it will end up for it doesn’t have a strong root system to keep it in place.

Are you easily distracted?

Some people are like tumbleweeds. Without a sense of direction some people can wonder aimlessly throughout life without any sense or direction. A person with a tumbleweed mindset will always start in a one direction only to become distracted and head in another. Without a clear direction, a person can lead others to a graveyard of indecisiveness.  A team may lose sight of its purpose if it’s lead by a leader who lacks vision and direction. A tumbleweed mentality can destroy an entire team and leave behind a trail of destruction. The team begins to lose sight of all the directions it was headed into. Unfortunately today we can see a tumbleweed mentality in just about every area of a person’s life: marriage, family and business.

Do you let adversity get the best of you?

In sharp contrast is the majestic redwood. Redwoods are full of life, however they do not grow without adversity. They tower high into the sky and can grow to over 300 feet in height and live to over 1500 years. One would think that the redwood has a deep root system, however the root system grows less than 12 feet deep.  The roots grow sideways and for every foot the tree grows, it grows 3 feet of roots in a sideways direction. It’s not uncommon to have a 300-foot tall redwood with 900 feet of roots. Though redwoods cannot live alone. Other redwoods must accompany them and this happens when their roots intertwine with each other. This is how a redwood gets its strength. They grow in groves. These redwood groves with their large roots are so intertwined that you cannot tell which redwood’s root system is which.

Redwoods go through adversity; they have scars that have come over time. From wild fires to other natural causes, redwoods stand the test of time. The redwood grove is essential for its survival, so when the first strong wind comes the redwood grove stands strong together.

Strong people who lead organizations with solid leadership have the ability to connect and intertwine with their team members. They set out with a vision and adjust as the vision grows all awhile keeping their focus on the goal.  Highly successful people who have built highly successful organizations, on a solid foundation, leave a legacy long after they are gone.

There are five pillars that must be in place for this type of redwood leadership to be effective.

  • The first is world-class leadership. Leaders have the wisdom and ability to help and develop other leaders.

  • Second, the products and or services must be disruptive to the market place. Being first to market is key to a company’s longevity.

  • Third, a strong organization recognizes timing and uses it to their advantage.

  • Fourth, it is vital for a strong organization to offer generous rewards package, which allows the average team member the ability to earn and climb the ranks in their own organization.

  • Fifth, an organization with that can duplicate itself with a proven system is unstoppable. The finest leaders in the strongest organizations realize that they must have a system that goes from the top leader to the newest team member.

Once a person understands the difference between a tumbleweed mindset and a redwood mindset, it should be simple to begin navigating one’s life in a meaningful direction.

Some Recommended readings are:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

  2. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

  3. Becoming your Best – Steven R. Shallenberger