Roots and Wings

Quote of the Week

“There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.”
Katharine Butler Hathaway

Roots and Wings

by Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek

As much as we ascribe to the hero’s journey, we are more fragile and vulnerable than we care to admit. We need others to fortify our resolve, provide perspective, and back us with emotional support. The deepest sources of strength among the life entrepreneurs we interviewed were their life partners, families, friends, mentors, and business partners. These close relationships give us roots and wings – roots to ground us and wings to help us fly.

The important people in our lives encourage us to be a person of character and integrity. They hold our feet to the fire when we drift or waver, help us back on our feet when we stumble, and encourage us to leap when we are ready to soar. They provide us with the all-important emotional foundation that we need to step forward in the world with confidence, willing and able to take risks because our root system is strong (Gergen & Vanourek, 2008, p. 112-113).

From: Gergen, C. & Vanourek, G. (2008). Life entrepreneurs: ordinary people creating extraordinary lives. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call to Action

What, if any, support structures do you have in your life? What do you tap to give you “roots and wings”? Do you have a strategy for resources (people, places, and things) in your life that can be used for support or help when needed? Are you using them effectively to increase your productivity and profitability? Your ability to systemically identify these assets and use them is an important key to your success.