The banyan tree’s branches send down aerial roots that, when they reach the ground, take root in the ground. As they thicken, the roots support the branches which then grow and send down more roots that enable the tree to spread in amazing ways.
Therefore, banyan trees have been called “trees that walk”. A strong tree needs a strong root. What makes the banyan tree unique is that it is continually growing new roots, which are not extensions of already existing roots. The Banyan does not only grow new branches and leaves and fruits, but also new roots. The new roots do not make the old ones obsolete, but they complement them and together they strengthen the tree and make it grow into new areas. Growing deeper to grow bigger and expand the area of influence is a growth process for all members of an organization. Growing deeper includes ongoing learning, working on personal issues – which might be hidden to the public, but which affect the public- , and remaining in touch with one’s foundation of life.
A leader who wants to help others grow, must grow as well, because modeling is at the core of any leadership effort (e.g., Covey, Kouzes & Posner). As the banyan tree grows step by step by building increasingly firm foundations, leaders must commit themselves to ongoing deepening processes. “The path to greatness is a process of sequential growth from the inside out” (Covey). Based on the Bible passage in 1Pe 2:1-2 Buzzell contends that “Leaders are not qualified merely because they practice good deeds (although they must do that). They are qualified by possessing a passion and a carving for high spiritual qualities and exhibiting a consistent pattern of growth in those qualities”. To model the way and to grow consistently, based on a firm ethical foundation, is a sound basis for effective leadership.
When did you grow deep the last time?