Beans are an excellent metaphor for our Growth and I use this metaphor often in ‘executive coaching’ and in training programmes. Dried beans can lie dormant for a long time. All that is needed is the right environment, and dampness applied from an external source, to activate the internal energy which then builds up and causes the bean to burst open. The root goes down (grounding). Light causes the shoot to go upwards and only then do the side branches develop and reach outwards.
In the twelve-week ‘communication skills’ sessions, we use F, L, A and G as themes for each week. So at the fourth session the emphasis is on Growth. Each participant is given five dried red ‘kidney beans’ and asked to come to the next session having creatively captured the essence of ‘Growth’ using the five beans. The results have been amazing. Some choose to grow the beans and bring them to the next session ready to demonstrate the process of a bean’s transition from a dry, dormant state to its bursting forth enabling us to see the visible stages of Growth.
I have seen many creative and unique ways in which engineers, accountants and others have met this challenge. Some draw pictures encompassing their values and growth. Last week, Njabulo Madondo, an Industrial Engineer in the planning department of a local industry, presented a poem which he had written. This is remarkable in many ways particularly considering that English is his ‘second’ language. (He has not yet chosen his title as this is ‘works in progress'.) I was delighted that he was happy for me to share his poem with our readers.
You begin at this stage,
The stage where you’re nothing amongst nothing,
They say you’ll never go nowhere,
Be positive, the sky is the limit.
From that darkness of the shell, leave,
Your Green bright leafs will appear,
Your strong stem and trunk will appear,
Don’t lose hope; the sky is the limit,
Grow to be taller than the tallest tree,
Minerals from the soil,
Energy from your food, water,
Will keep you going,
Fly, the sky is the limit.
Strengthen you roots,
To grow deep down the soil,
Deeper than the deep blue sea,
That’ll make you grow, glow, and be glad.
Floods will not overcome you but will test you and pass,
Wind will not pull you back,
Frost will not freeze you, you’re healthy,
Sun will not burn you, but you’ll ripen.
You’ll even feed the whole world of disadvantaged tribes.
Njabulo’s poem demonstrates his own interpretation of Fun, Leadership, And (continuous improvement) and Growth. So, he has fully complied with the FLAG philosophy covered in the last post. If you would like to renew your Growth, either through individual ‘executive coaching’ or through group training sessions, you are welcome to contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +27 33 3425432, Mobile: + 27 82 4993311.