Being a leader means always planting

What are you planting right now that is preparing your organization for the future?

Those of us wanting a future filled with possibility are planting right now.  Leaders plant continually.  We try new things and keep investing in some that we enjoy, while also cultivating what what is working.  Always keeping an open mind to new ideas. 

The best leaders are always learning listening and experimenting.

Varying duration is important

Leaders plant a variety of crops that mature in various conditions and duration.  Leaders that fail to do this don’t have organizations very long.

Want to become the leader others want to follow?   

If so, what you are planing right now will make a tremendous difference in your future and who might want to come with you.  Whether we like it or not, what we plant multiplies and you can test it.

Before planting, consider who is it for and how long of a growing period you have.

Knowing who it is for and growing period help select the right crop.

Obviously, when we need a harvest in a short period of time we have different options than when we have years.  Let’s examine 3 separate time periods.

1) Short term

A radish is a wonderful choice if you need a product available in a few days. I typically plant them as an early crop when the temperatures are cool. The seeds germinate quickly and in less than 1 month we can begin eating them.

2) Intermediate term

A product with more sustenance and one that requires more effort to produce are field crops.

Take hay for example.  We use that to feed our livestock. Making hay can take up to 8 months and only after cutting and drying can it be used.

While the process takes longer, we can store it and use the crop to feed many different types of animals over a longer period of time.  Clearly there is benefit in producing a crop like this.  

3) Long term

A longer term crop might be one that grows on a tree. Like an apple. Even the best grafted trees can’t produce until 3-5 years. 

Planting for the long term today can provide new options for us in the future.  What could it mean to your organization to have the benefits of a long term investment during tough economic times?  

Application

When we are thinking about building healthy organizations what crop is best?

Do we want radishes, hay or apples?

Leaders that build organizations that last, begin by selecting wisely for their people and customers so they have a continual harvest.

If we invest only in the long term, we may not survive long enough to enjoy it.  In contrast, if we neglect the intermediate and long term for the sake of the short term we put the organization at risk. 

We may find ourselves in a place where we don’t have a crop between seasons.  Without planting with the future in mind, we may find ourselves with only radishes to eat.  I don’t know many that would enjoy that outcome do you?

Shepherd Thinking

    1. Name one long term investment that might ensure the organization’s survival.
    2. What can you do to influence others to take action?
    3. What could you do today that will prepare your team for a difficult time coming in the next 6 months?

Shepherding:  The art of becoming the leader others want to follow

The Shepherd’s Library

Planning and planting take time to get it right.   Check out this book by Michael Hyatt and make this year your best year ever.   I highly recommend it for your library.