In Miami we have these things called mangroves and near my house there is this very complicated and complex mangrove. An entire park essentially where there are some roads and a beach area and the marina. Mangroves have a very complicated root system.
What I found fascinating about mangroves is that we as individuals can have a complex root system too. What is your root system? What is your foundation? For me, my root system, what keeps me going, what’s at my core is my family and my friends. What I learned about my life turns Is that for me, how I used to define success in my life. It used to be by very societal notions of making money, getting good grades, going to the best schools, working for the best law firms and corporations. Over time, I’ve evolved. I think we all evolve as human beings.
My life experiences have taught me that really my inspirations and sources of strength and how I define myself is by the number of people I’ve touched. How many people I can inspire and help through my life experiences and through the wisdom I am blessed to impart. So that’s really at my core. Mangroves have this ability to keep an entire ecosystem going, especially here in South Florida. We are lucky to have mangroves survive but it’s really because of their root system. I feel so lucky that I have the ability to survive because of my very strong core of family and connections that support me and the ability to recognize that how I can give back to everyone in my life is really at my core. And the other thing that for me, ethics is at my core. It’s the foundation of how I make every decision. Similarly, corporations have begun to shift corporate culture from thinking about ethics more than just something that is checked off the box once a year activity or rhetoric. It’s actually something that becomes embedded and is part of the culture. It’s modeled by leadership. There’s action and a mandate created by keeping ethics and integrity at our core. Doing the right thing, being accountable to each other, and creating trust and empathy within our organizations are all like mangroves.
I hope you found my message helpful on the importance of building a root system like the mangrove trees.
Rashmi Airan‘s mission is to help organizations create cultures focused on integrity, authenticity, and accountability by connecting these efforts to human performance, behavioral ethics and emotional intelligence. Rashmi is a keynote speaker and consultant specializing in organizational culture, reputational risk, and human performance. Contact Rashmi to see how she can help your organization.