Apr 24, 2024



Lake Fairfield in Sapphire Valley, NC is probably my favorite place on earth. Primarily because Camp Merrie Woode is nestled next to the waterfall at the far end of the lake. Patty and I often refer to Camp Merrie Woode as our spiritual home – that place where we feel most connected to ourselves, to others, and to the beautiful world around us. When we visit camp during the summer my morning routine is very predictable. I get up as the sun is coming up and run the trail around the lake. One of my favorite sights on the trail is at the bottom of a large hill. That side of the lake is covered in trees. The canopy creates a tremendous shade. In that lush area there is a tree that started out growing horizontally along the ground and then shooting up toward the sky. Most people that pass it probably don’t even notice it. Compared to the huge trees that fill in the area it looks like a scrawny dwarf. For me it is one of the amazing wonders of the world.


Plants are genetically wired to grow. There is a chemical or hormone in the cells of trees that facilitates plant growth. They are called auxins. They move cell to cell throughout the plant facilitating stem growth, leaf growth, and fruit growth. This tree started under a canopy where it’s important food source – the sun, was shaded. The plant started growing sideways until it reached an opening in the canopy and then started growing vertically.  That tree personifies a truth about plants. They are genetically wired to grow.

We named our leadership model The Auxin Leader because we believe the same thing about people. We are genetically wired to grow both physically and cognitively.  When we create the right environment, that growth can be exponential. Great leadership is about tapping into that natural drive for growth that exists within us and then helping people grow. #theauxinleader #growthculture #workforcedevelopment #leadershipdevelopment

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