The trees behind our home are bare now, so my view this afternoon is of long lean trunks and branches. Only a few stubborn leaves remain.

I can imagine the view in summer; where I now see brown and shadows, there is only green.

And when I drive down the country roads, just a few miles from here, the orchards are barren, also.

But in my mind’s eye I can also see the apples still on the trees, branches heavy laden with the fall’s sweet fruit.

At times on my leadership journey, I have felt like a the solitary stubborn leaf, alone on a branch, isolated and buffeted by the winds, hanging on for life, with no protection from the elements.

Yet I know the reality is that I have been surrounded by leaders far more steady and secure, offering their strength and wisdom to guide me as I grow.

None of us can grow to who we are meant to be in isolation.

Sonia DiMaulo is one of the wise leaders in my online family who has encouraged me on my journey, and I am thrilled to introduce you to her new book, The Apple in the OrchardThe book tells the wonderful story of a brave and isolated apple who learns the secret of community and finds the courage to emerge.


It’s a story for all of us, because we have all felt lonely as leaders; we need each other; we are stronger together; we have the ability to give courage to others, even as we look to others to inspire us.

I hope you will check out Sonia’s book and share it with an emerging leader to remind them of the strength and wisdom we can gain in community.