The Landscape of Change

View into Monet's Garden

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment. (Claude Monet)



Photo by Kathy Garland

This is the view looking out from Claude Monet’s painting studio. Every day, he woke up to the beauties of his garden. When I was in Giverny, France last year to visit Monet’s home and garden, I was overcome by the richness and depth of the landscape and the environment he created to support his creativity and his life passion. I took a lot of photos, some of which I’ve included below.

The quote above by Monet is one for reflection. His gardens, the lily pond and surrounding property changed on a daily basis. In Paris there is a building displaying murals of his famous “Water Lily” theme that represent different parts of the day from dawn till dusk. It’s fascinating to see the changes in light and how the different elements of his paintings change because of the light.

We too, change from moment to moment. We are not always as aware of the changes in ourselves as we are in our environment. We observe the change in the weather, the amount of traffic or how other people change.

As a leader, it’s important to stay tuned into not only the changes you are experiencing, but also those of the people that are on your team. We may frequently change opinions and approaches based on the changing environment around us. That can be difficult for the people that work with us if they aren’t as flexible as we are.

Flexibility is an important emotional intelligence skill to have especially during times of change and any time you work with people, which unless you hide out in a garden, fits just about everyone.

What I take from Monet’s quote above is that the landscape isn’t the thing. It is the outward expression of all the trees, flowers, lily pads, butterflies, water and bridges that make up the garden.

A team’s efforts are expressed in how they get along, what results are generated and the quality of the relationships they build across the organization. Flexibility gives you the ability to create “the landscape” as you go, rather than looking back at what should have or could have been.

Flexible people have open minds, adapt and correct their mistakes, and can shift their priorities according to the needs of the organization. You can build your flexibility through simple things like ordering something different at a favorite restaurant, changing up your routine, driving a different way to work.

We all make up a landscape of success and being able to change when it is needed is an important part of success.

Here are a few more of my favorite photos from Monet’s garden:

Photo by Kathy Garland   Photo by Kathy GarlandPhoto by Kathy GarlandPhoto by Kathy Garland





(c) 2014 Kathy Garland.

Kathy Garland helps women leaders drive results through increased influence, strong relationships and effective communication within teams and across the organization. She is certified in the MHS EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360. For a complementary consultation on how your team can flex with the landscape of change and increase influence across the organization, please contact me at


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