We’ve talked about preparing to plant seeds by preparing the soil and how that corresponds to creating an organizational environment with minimal turbulence. Now it is time to talk about seeds.
We could spend a week just on this aspect of the leader as a gardener, but we will focus on one simple idea: it isn’t up to you to choose what seed to plant.
Please take a moment to reflect on this. It isn’t up to you to choose what seed to plant.
I love avocados, but they are not going to grow in my climate. So how do you know what seed to plant? Listen to the people in whom you will be planting seeds.
In his incredible 1971 treatise, On Caring, Milton Mayeroff said that if we really care about someone, we help them grow in the ways in which they need to grow. We take their lead in the process, in contrast to us trying to remake them in our image or turn them into what we want them to be.
When we listen closely, people will tell us what they need and what they are ready for. They may not do it consciously and they may be unaware of it themselves, but in being present and listening, leaders gain insight into the needs of those they serve.
Last week I asked you to think about people in whom you could plant seeds. Think about those people now, and reflect on their needs, and how they have communicated them to you.
Do good and be well,