True leaders from bottle tree ….a HR message

Why perception and reality always differ? Why people often say ‘appearance is deceptive? The answer is very simple. The people in general are totally, truly and completely different in their thinking, behaviour etc., than from how and or what they looks like. Always a quick judgment/conclusion or an opinion is drawn about someone at short notice (first glance) when people see others. In most instances, people form such opinion about others even before they get to know anything about them or interact with them. Later when they start interacting with them, naturally they get to know them better. As a result of the above, they often have to reject their first formed opinion/judgment or conclusion about others. That is how they say the ‘reality always differs from perception’.


The conflicts due to ‘perception versus reality; or the concept of ‘appearance is deceptive’ is very common in corporate world.   If people learn to be like what kind of perception they evoke upon others (knowingly and or unknowingly), the scope for such conflicts can be easily avoided. How to develop such leadership style is a big challenge to most people in corporate.  


May be, only as an answer to the corporate world, nature has created the bottle trees or baobab trees of Madagascar.   The tree is said to live for 600 to 800 years. The tree is popularly referred as ‘bottle tree’ purely and due to its appearance or resemblance to a bottle.   Because of its vivid appearance similarity with bottle, the tree has earned the popular name ‘bottle tree’.


There is no doubt that the baobab trees exactly looks like a bottle. However the baobab tree qualifies beyond its appearance. The baobab not only looks like a bottle, it also stores water in its trunk like how a bottle can do. About 1000 litter of water, the tree used to store in its huge trunk. Because of the huge water reservoir within the tree, the tree remain bald (without any leaves) during drought and severe summer, nearly for 8 months of a year.


The message to be understood is that the bottle trees (baobab) not only look or appear like ‘bottle’ it also ‘functions’ (behave) like a bottle. The appearance of baobab tree and the meaning of the appearance in reality are one and the same.   That is why the tree could live for 600 years and could remain bald and leafless for 8 months of a year.


It looks like, only to send a strong management message to the corporate world, i.e., how to bridge the gap between ones appearance and what is real the tree is created by nature.


Understand your real personality and learn to reveal your true and real personality. Avoid faking or putting up an artificial image of yours which is farce and far away from true. Learn to achieve such leadership style, by learning from the nature’s marvel, the bottle trees of Madagascar.


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., ChennaiImage


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