Are you in the weeds or the treetops?

weeds or treetops? | career coach Ann Daly PhDEarlier today, I urged a coaching client to “get out of  the weeds.” Because as a woman advances from the technician to the manager or leader, she needs to leave the small stuff behind. And yet it can be difficult to let go and focus on the bigger picture. “Mary,” we’ll call my coaching client, is a bird-lover, and she ran with the weeds metaphor. She can see herself ditching the weeds. She wants to live in “the treetops.”

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One of the reasons to leave the weeds, I offered Mary, is the political capital and influence she earns with others in the treetops. It will protect her from the pettiness of the micromanagers who love nothing better than rooting around in the weeds. That’s right, she explained to me, it’s just like the ground nesters. Those birds are vulnerable — easy prey for the larger birds that fly above the treetops. Climbing toward the sky isn’t always easy. We do it one branch at a time.

photo by Theodore Scott

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