Leadership Competencies

What seeds are you planting? What intentions are you cultivating?

Having once owned a garden center and nursery and having a huge passion for gardening, I know this weekend is THE weekend to get our gardens growing. Now to me — growing gardens, growing companies, growing ourselves — it’s all the same. That’s the reason I use so many gardening analogies when I talk about developing self-awareness, self-mastery, and being on purpose.

I approach Managing Thought® as if I were pruning a tree. When I prune a tree, the first thing I do is decide what I want to accomplish. Do I want to remove the dead wood? Create a certain shape? Bring in more light? More fruit or flowers? Growth upward or outward? Once I have my purpose, I begin to prune, first removing the dead and diseased branches. I then prune the branches that are crossing other branches, sticking straight up, or shooting from the base of the tree. These are appropriately called suckers because they suck up the water, nutrients, and sunlight from the viable branches. Once these branches are removed, I then prune and shape the tree to fulfill my purpose. After completing the process, I turn my attention to the daily culti­vation of the tree—how it is fed and watered and its exposure to the elements. This helps the tree resist stress and develop a strong root and trunk system. With less stress, the tree resists insects, disease, and damage. It thrives in its full glory.

To manage our thoughts, we can follow the same process. Before we plan or strategize anything—a career, vacation, marriage, education for ourselves or our children, a corporate initiative—we can decide what we want. Before we say or do anything, such as interact with our family, children, or signifi­cant others, or converse with a customer or coworker, we can decide our purpose. We decide what is of significance. We decide what we wish to create in our life and our work.

Then we watch our thoughts and prune those that are destructive and diseased—the thoughts that don’t bring us peace or inspire us. We notice and prune the thoughts that are at cross-purposes, or sucking up our time, energy, and money. These are the thoughts that block our light—our true reality. We practice shaping our thoughts, creating our intentions, and focusing our thoughts, and ultimately our actions, on what matters to us.

In doing so, we accomplish our purpose and fulfill our intention in each moment. We cultivate ourselves daily and develop a strong mind, body, and spirit. We resist stress, disease, and damage. We thrive in our full glory.

What seeds are you planting? What intentions are you cultivating?


Mary J. Lore is a mentor to corporate leaders, multiple award winning author, keynote speaker, and founder of Managing Thought, LLC. Hailed by business leaders around the world, her multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success and audio book Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? not only change the way you think about success—they change the way you think, period. With a groundbreaking approach to harnessing mental power, Mary helps individuals and organizations turn counter-productive thinking into inspired action and significant results. In her career, she has served as a CPA, a crisis management and business turnaround expert, and an entrepreneur. Mary serves as an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a member during the 1990s. Visit Mary at www.managingthought.com and www.maryjlore.com. If you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial.

Category: Leadership Competencies

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About the Author: Mary Lore

Mary J. Lore, the founder and CEO of Managing Thought LLC, is an internationally recognized thought leader, public speaker, and executive mentor. Her background in business start ups, business turnarounds and entrepreneurship gives Mary the …

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