Have you ever had a “Rosebush” on your team? Throughout my career I’ve been blessed with many. Another phrase to describe them is “high maintenance.” Some days, I’d shake my head and wonder if it was worth it, as they seemed to demand constant Tender Loving Care (TLC).  I’ll admit I didn’t always want to give as much energy and time as was needed.

Yet I so valued what a “Rosebush” team member produced. It was amazing, beyond what others on the team could do, and beyond my expectations. I would marvel at them and smile to myself and say “wow.” Yes, they were worth it.

Your team is a garden, and it won’t be complete without the beauty of a rosebush.

Roses are beautiful flowers, but they take a lot of work and attention to grow them. You can’t over or under water them, they need just the right amount. They need sun, just not too much or too little. The soil must be great for them. And then there is the regular attention to required, monitoring, and pruning. If you’ll do the work, you’ll get amazing and beautiful flowers.

I’ve worked with other leaders who wished all their team members would be machines, so they didn’t need to commit a lot of time with them. A rosebush team member isn’t a machine, it needs a lot of attention. The time spent is an investment, one that pays huge dividends. It may take a while to realize those dividends, but they do come. It’s like raising children, where your gratification is delayed because they take a while to bloom. As a parent I learned the more you invest in your children, the more beautiful they become. I’m talking about investing your time with them, having expectations, and holding them accountable.

They need your attention because they thrive on time with you. They won’t admit it publicly, and it would surprise their peers, but they often have insecurities about who they are and their ability to perform. Because of this, your time with them is affirming and makes them feel special. They need that re-assurance.

Recognition of their accomplishments, whether big or small, is important to them. Public recognition in front of their peers, it’s even more valuable. The more they receive, the more they want to do whatever it takes to get more recognition.

A rosebush team member needs you to have high expectations of their performance. In our world today it seems to me the world sees expectations as something bad. Wrong! Expectations are a sign you care and believe in them. High expectations drive high performance. If you have no expectations, or low expectations of your team or your children, they will way underperform all the time.

The last ingredient is accountability, which is the pruning process. Pruning isn’t bad for the rosebush; it’s an accelerant to their growth. In the same way, your team member’s growth will be accelerated when unproductive or bad behavior is corrected, or when you don’t allow them to give a poor effort.

I believe there is a rosebush inside of each of us. God is present for us every day, just call on him. He has high expectations for us, we’re his masterpiece. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pruned from time to time. His plans for us are beyond what we can imagine. Enjoy blooming!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20

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