Change: It Can Break Your Heart

Yesterday, for more than an hour, I watched a team of tree cutters in my backyard, taking down a 200 year old swamp maple. Like an acrobat, the guy in the tree, working closely with his team on the ground, took branch by branch, until only a stump remained.

My wife and I are sad about the destruction of a tree we had come to know for over 20 years. We knew the tree was old and that it wasn’t well. We once had a tree whisperer visit our yard. He looked at it and said, “It’s old. And mostly dead. But it will still give off branches and leaves each year. Until it falls down.”

So, our neighbor decided to reduce the risk of the old maple toppling over on his house.

It was the right thing to do. Although the tree had been here longer than anyone in my town, dating back to post-colonial times — an historic tree, you might say — it was time. The tree had become a worry. And a hazard. What if it fell in a storm and took out a fence or a back porch…or a person?

Sometimes change is necessary, even though it breaks your heart.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on October 20, 2010. For more info on change and leadership, invite Terry to your organization to speak with your managers.


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