A Leader’s Job Is To Plant Seeds!
Leaders are expected to get results – to achieve the vision – to meet their organization’s goals – to improve the bottom line (whatever that is)! Success is their primary task! BUT – they cannot do this by themselves! Just like a ship’s captain… when they “Lead the Ship” – they need ‘all hands on deck’! So – effective leaders get their job done through people. Just like in an orchestra – the director directs – and – the musicians (the staff) do the work.
So leaders (directors, managers, supervisors…) must develop ‘tons’ of ways that they can inspire, motivate, direct, and influence the ‘people’ to do the work!
One of the strategies that very successful leaders use is that ‘they plant seeds’ as they lead…
In my book, “Ask, Seek, Knock” I write about the power of ‘seeds’ and the relationship between ‘planting seeds’ and ‘asking questions’. Because I think that ‘asking questions’ is a key strategy to set ourselves up for a successful 2019, I am sharing a very relevant excerpt from “Ask, Seek, Knock” (and The ASK ProcessTM).
‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’ (Matthew, 13:31-32).
All of us sow seeds. You can sow seeds of thorny shrubs, poisonous plants, or trees that bear life-sustaining fruits. Some of our most important seeds are sown in the fields of our mind. When you ask questions they become like seeds. They will blossom and bear fruit. Depending on your questions, the fruits can be bitter or sweet.
I believe that many of our problems occur when we sow the wrong seeds and ask the wrong questions of life. For example, we too often ask ‘why’ questions when we ought be asking ‘how’ questions. “How can I get out of this financial mess?” Rather than, “Why me? Why did that have to happen now?”
Plant seeds which will grow ideas, strategies, possibilities, and solutions to empower your life.
According to Dottie Walters, “Anyone can cut an apple open and count the number of seeds. But, who can look at a single seed and count the number of tress and apples and other seeds – and more trees – that can potentially grow from it? Questions are like apple seeds. Within them lie potentials and possibilities for outcomes and results that are beyond the imagination.
Let us be clear that the smallest question is certainly like a seed.
When the seed is put in the soil it grows into a tree which produces apples. Yet when we look at the seed, we cannot see it’s mighty potential – a potential which lies hidden in its DNA. We cannot imagine that this small object is even alive. Yet when it is placed in the soil, a transformation process is started – one that gradually – in time, and under the right circumstances, will nurture and give sustenance to humans, birds and insects – not only regenerating trees and fruits – but sustaining life on this planet.
So too will your questions blossom larger than life and you will be transformed beyond anything currently visible or even imaginable. When you ask one question, and you seek and get an answer, you are then often pushed to ask another question… which then leads to other answers and solutions… and further questions and answers. These answers can generate tons of solutions, not only for you, but for your staff, your board and organization, your customers, and potentially for thousands of people.
Bill Gates sought to put a computer on every office desk in America. The result is that he put a computer not only on every office desk in the world, but there is a computer in just about every home in America, in hundreds of millions of homes around the world – and potentially down the road of time – a computer in every home on Earth!
Well… here in 2019, I think we have eclipsed the notion of “a computer in every home on the planet.” Why? Because we now have a “’computer’ in just about every hand on the planet!” Really? Yes… cellphones… smart phones! Those are mini-computers with tons more processing power than Bill Gate’s first computers!
Will your ‘seed’- ‘idea’ – ‘question’ take you way beyond the goal you want, the result you desired or the outcome you imagined?
Of course ‘planting the seed’ is only one step… you have got to water the seed, and nourish the young sapling that grows from the seed.
As an executive, will you be planting ‘seeds’ in the minds of the people you lead or work with? And, if yes, how will you be nurturing those seeds to guarantee that they grow and then blossom – and then bear fruit?
And, oh, by the way, just ‘how’ will you be planting seeds in the minds of others? Do you know how? (If your answer is no… then you may want to consider getting an Executive Coach to help you in that and other endeavors).
However, Step 1 for January 2019 – is for you to ‘plant seeds’ by “asking the ‘right’ questions.” (More on that in forthcoming blog posts.)