Every leader’s goal is to create high-performing teams. And in order to do that, we invest significant effort into cultivating and growing strong people who work well together to achieve our department and organization’s objectives. It is this concept of “cultivating and growing” that got me thinking about the papaya.
My favourite fruit is the papaya. Succulent, fragrant, and slightly sweet, just one bite instantly transports me to the warm, gentle breezes of the Hawaiian and Caribbean islands. I am reminded of early morning drives through papaya farms, where you can stop and buy the plump ripe fruit, picked just hours earlier. Oh, I wish I could grow my own papayas. There is one problem though … I live in Canada!
You see, even though I have the best quality seeds, no matter how hard I try, it is almost impossible to grow papayas in Canada. Papayas are a tropical crop, which means that they need high levels of humidity for growth, and then a warm and dry climate for ripening. And they grow best in alluvial soil which is found along deltas and riverbanks. Alas, while we have several deltas and many riverbanks in Canada, tropical weather is sadly lacking. The only chance I would have of successfully growing papayas in Canada would be in a greenhouse, where I might be able to replicate the ideal growing conditions.
Bottom line: to successfully grow papayas, I need both the best quality seeds and the right climate. Which isn’t unlike what it takes to grow high-performing teams.