As a follow up to last week’s blog, I want to encourage leaders who are interested in developing their organizations and teams as leaders with an idea that has helped me: “Sow seeds in others so that they can be successful too.”
The origin of this, comes from a book by John Maxwell called “The Success Journey”. In the book, he talks about three steps for leaders to realize on their own journey, the last of which is sowing seeds. I love this analogy for a few reasons:
- Sowing seeds requires the leaders to first have seeds – No duh, right! But the idea here is that you cannot give what you don’t have. You need to commit to learning as the leader. If you are trying to pass on “development” material that you do not resemble or follow, people will sniff that out as disingenuous a mile away. The question to you as a leader is why sow seeds at all…hopefully it is because the material first made an impact on you.
- Sowing seeds does not mean you harvest the next day – Like we mentioned last week, we need to stop worrying about ROI and focus more on personal and culture change. Just like seeds you might plant in a garden, some will grow sooner. Some may lie dormant until they are ready (until your team are in a situation where they can recall the ideas). You may never be around to see the impact you have had on people. But that is not the point…the harvest is for them, not you.
- Seeds will often fall on fertile ground; but not always – As the leader, when you decide to share knowledge and experience, it will certainly be shared within your entire team. Many people will be hungry for the inspiration and know-how that you will be willing to share. Others just won’t. Some will be unsure about your motives, but in time will come around. Some never will. These people will never comment and will not take action. Don’t get frustrated. Keep putting the seeds (ideas) out there for your team.
- Introduce new seeds every year – Back to the first point, the leader needs to constantly be growing. As you continue to learn, you bring people further along on the journey and introduce new ideas that have made an impact on you and continue to enable people in their development.
Leaders, your peoples development is one of the toughest (from a time perspective) jobs, but also one of the most rewarding. When you put ideas out to your team that have genuinely helped you grow, it will be nearly impossible not to start seeing people grow all around you.
Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:
Fired Up – by Seth Godin – via @thisissethsblog
- SO WHAT: Put people in positions, on projects, in roles that allow them to make use of the things that fire them up. Then get out of the way.
- Tags: Leadership
Don’t be afraid to hire your replacement at work – by Melissa Puls – via Fortune
- SO WHAT: A great article that touches on key aspects of team building. The title caught my attention as it is something I am paying more attention to as I continue to grow in my own career.
- Tags: Leadership
Where Do New Ideas Come From? – by Annie Murphy Paul – via ATD
- SO WHAT: Analogies provide new opportunities to define solutions to problems you may be struggling with.
- Tags: Creativity
What You’re Really Telling People When You’re ‘Just’ a Minute or Two Late – by Larry Kim – via Inc.
- SO WHAT: Guilty. Work in Progress. The best reminder: if you are not 10 minutes early, you are late.
- Tags: Leadership
Here’s What Walking Does to Your Brain – by Laura Donovan – via Attn:
- SO WHAT: We have shared similar articles in previous posts…so what are you waiting for….lace ‘em up and get walking!
- Tags: Productivity
All the best, kevin