The Executive Gardener and the Fairy

Insights on Leadership for Life & Business

In today’s fast paced, stressful world, where demands in the work place are ever increasing, leaders must constantly be examining their own values and priorities while inspiring staff and maintaining incredibly high levels of productivity and quality. Add to this the work-life balance and the challenge of maintaining one’s values and enjoyment. As a friend’s father-in-law used to say, “You have to have attitude, gratitude and latitude.”

In our pursuit of happiness at work and during non working hours, often questions like these surface:
How do you want to be remembered?
“What’s it all about Alfie?”
What are my priorities?
How much fun is in my life?
Is my role to serve or be served?

The cover for the novel "The Executive Gardener and the Fairy"

The front cover of The Executive Gardener and the Fairy

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Inspiration for the Story

This story was written to address these questions. It is about a retired executive, who not only is faced with the door of retirement, but a haunting question from his daughter Olivia, “Would you do it all over again? Would you give more to your family than to the office?”  The hope is that the reader will follow Frank’s strategies of self-examination, fine tuning his or her own priorities, releasing tensions and inhibitions, bringing forth a sense of flow, fun, creativity, balance and above all service.

This parable includes seven of my father’s true business stories. As it usually happens this story somewhat resembles real life, in that when my workaholic father, Frank, retired I asked him those exact questions. (I know rather cheeky of me) and yes he responded the same way as Frank in the story. I always said I was able to channel my father’s apology to my mother. In real life, it was my father who succumbed to kidney cancer leaving my mother a widow until five years after she passed away from a heart attack.

Ultimately, once we loosen the knots of tension, negativity and forgiveness we can fly to great heights. We just need to remain open to pondering, playing and creating!

Praise for the Executive Gardener and the Fairy

“Have you ever paused to enjoy a rainbow? If you have, you may have discovered that it is a blend of colours, each contributing to the beauty of the whole. This book The Executive Gardener and the Fairy: Insights on Leadership for Life and Business, is not unlike a rainbow. The beauty of this book lies in its ability to educate, inspire and provoke contemplation. This is a parable of how it is possible to achieve personal, professional and spiritual growth through serving family, community and work. Exploring its tenets will remind that there is life outside of work. Rainbows don’t last forever, but the choices that we make in life may. Let this book guide you in your choices.”

Rick D. Hackett
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Organizational Behaviour & Human Performance, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University