Greater than the sum

May 27, 2011

Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  This has rung true so many times for me during my years with Natural Lands Trust.  As an organization, it is amazing what our staff accomplishes.

On a more local level (at least for me) the Stewardship Department is a unique blend of talents and personalities.  Throw us together on a work project, and with no boss, the job gets done in half the man hours.  Considering that most of the time we work by ourselves at our own preserves, that is pretty magical.

When ChesLen Preserve was generously added to the “portfolio” of Natural Lands Trust preserves, it was an achievement that could only be accomplished by an organization where the “whole exceeded the sum”.  With ChesLen, NLT gained two valuable assets.  Roger Nichols and David Castaneda manage ChesLen, and added their talents to the NLT Stewardship pool.

Among other things, Roger and David are now the “go to guys” for major equipment issues.  All the preserve managers perform routine maintenance on our equipment, but the addition of Roger and David raised us to another level.  This spring I needed to replace all the hydraulic lines on the tractor.  It was a little more than what I was comfortable doing, so I called Roger for advice.  He said they could do it with no problem.   

Well, they not only replaced the lines, but they repaired a lot of the “little idiosyncrasies”.  They brought the tractor back up to specs, and made it as new as a 20 year old piece of machinery can be.  It looks great and runs even better.  (And they stayed within Mariton’s budget.)

Roger and David are an example.  I could go down the line of Stewardship Staff and list how they make NLT a stronger organization.  I’ll even go out on a limb and boast that we have the best Stewardship Department out there.  The reason is simple.  For us, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.