A Boss Asks His Team A Question About Blueberries During Every Team Meeting — And Is Hailed As An Effective Leader

What do blueberries have to do with my job?

Farmer holding a box full of blueberries AstroStar / Shutterstock

Being a leader isn’t difficult, but what is difficult is being a good leader — especially when you’re trying to keep a business or company afloat.

Good leaders are often praised for their ability to inspire others and for the way that they treat the people they employ. Brian Fretwell decided to go out of his way to praise one of the most effective leaders he ever knew by recording a TikTok about his boss.


His boss always started meetings by asking his team about blueberries.

Naturally, this is one of the weirdest questions you could ever be asked during a work meeting, but his boss explained to Fretwell what it actually means, and it changed his entire view of leadership.

“He said most teams start the day talking about challenges and problems, but he didn't think that's how humans were designed,” Fretwell explained. Instead, his boss took him back to the good old days — not 100 years ago, but hundreds of thousands of years ago.



RELATED: Worker Calls Boss To Bail Him Out Of Jail — Then Takes Him Right Back To Work


“He said, if you and I were hunters and gatherers, and you had just found a bunch of blueberries to bring to the pack, the first question I wouldn't ask you is, what did you do wrong?” He then flipped the statement into a positive: “He said, for our pack to survive, we need to know everything about what you did well, what strength you used, and how you found them without getting killed.”

Basically, Fretwell’s boss liked to focus on people’s strengths over their weaknesses. He focused on things that worked instead of the things that went wrong.

“He said, the more every person on my team understands how we're successful, the more likely we are to survive,” Fretwell explained. “He told me he doesn't start the day asking about the blueberries to make everybody feel good but to crystallize for everyone what good looks like.”

Being a good leader takes more than getting the job done.

“In that moment, he taught me that leadership wasn't just about helping people overcome problems, but more about helping them clarify strength, impact, and potential,” Fretwell says.


Many managers and leaders don’t tend to think in this way, and that’s why Fretwell believes his boss was so effective.

RELATED: Job Seeker With 10 Years Of Experience Admits She 'Can't Get A Job' Despite Sending Out 500 Applications

In March 2014, Gallup released a report based off the countless studies they’ve conducted on hundreds of organizations and their measurements of the engagement of 27 million employees, via Harvard Business Review. They found that the most important business decision that a company makes is in the hiring of their managers.

Despite that, they also found that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time. Great leaders exhibit five key traits — of which they claim only 1 in 10 people have.


1. Great leaders can motivate their employees to work towards a compelling mission.

2. Great leaders have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and overcome obstacles.

3. Great leaders create a healthy culture of accountability.

4. Great leaders build relationships founded on trust and transparency.


5. Great leaders make decisions that are based on productivity.

Whether or not Fretwell’s boss exhibits all of these key traits, he certainly knows how to get the job done by bringing out his employees’ maximum potential and leading with positivity.

RELATED: NY Yankees Owner Requires His Employees To Read A Specific Book Every Month Or They’re Fired

Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.