Don’t get me wrong. I want results. You might say I’m addicted to them.
When results aren’t in sight, anxiety sets in and I start planning how to get them. There seems to be guilt associated with planning, refining, and even training before chasing the wild game in the big hunt.
When I tell people what I’m working on, the first question is “When will it be delivered?” What’s the date? What’s holding you back? I want to stop for a second and say, there are times I don’t want to put unshrunk cloth on old wineskins. And there are times I’m thrilled I rehearsed, dug deeper, tested out that big idea before I pulled the trigger.
One of my humorous reminders to myself is that most of my best results have been accidental. I want you to consider the possibility that when the call of culture is that your value is in immediate results, it’s a lie. The leader’s calling is to plant seed.
Please don’t misunderstand. If you know me, you know I’m a person of action. I have lived and died by my (often impulsive) actions. It’s my greatest strength, but it’s also one of my greatest weaknesses.
We live in the day of the MVP. Minimum Viable Product. Don’t wait till it’s perfect. In fact, you have no idea what it needs to be perfect, and the PROCESS of development is out there where it’s being tested.
I don’t disagree! … but it’s not a universal truth.
There’s a time to take action and have faith. And there’s a time to do the deep work of Practice. Sometimes action and practice occur simultaneously. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to help leaders establish a practice zone environment where good things mature while action is happening.
As a keynote speaker and trainer who has led teams to some significant results, I’m often asked, “Greg, How can I motivate my people?”
It makes me flinch.
I understand the question, and I know the vicious cycle it represents.
Recently I read this in Mark 4:26. “… a man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”
The problem with “results” is that we can’t get them without planting seed.
We can’t legislate RESULTS. As leaders, we’re quick to identify the ‘problem’ with employees “these days”. If you’re looking for a conversation starter, you’ll draw a crowd with this one.
Sowing seed isn’t reactionary. We don’t do it to fix a problem or get a quick win. We sow seed because it’s a core value, and we know it will yield a harvest (even if some of the seed doesn’t take).
Your people are BEGGING to be part of the mission and to become the best they can be.
And… they are looking to you to take them there.
They’re counting on you to sow the seed.
Call me Crazy
I want to be known as a leader who is planting the seed. When you’re ready to assume the true role of leadership, it’ll look like this.
· You’re sowing seed into the lives of others to see where the good soil is.
· You don’t have to control ‘how’ it grows, only that you sowed good seed.
· You’ll spend more time cultivating and fertilizing and less time isolating and legislating.
· Your time will be spent in training and equipping those who will reproduce the seed you’ve sown in them.
· You will create a harvest in the lives of others, far beyond the purpose that brought you together.
· You’ll experience true satisfaction and significance, far beyond financial success.
The problem with getting results is when it gets in the way of the cascading harvest you’ll experience from planting good seed as your highest priority. Don’t just keep replacing soldiers. Get in the practice zone with them and turn them into great WARRIORS.