By the time spring comes, most people are sick of winter. We get to shed our winter boots, bulky coats and clothing, and the gloom of winter. We look forward to springtime. It’s a time when we are ready for sunshine and something new-a time of planting seeds (seedtime) and creating beauty.
Normally when we think of seeds, we think of them in the context of plants, flowers, and vegetables. I submit to you that anything can be a seed. For example, if you plant kindness, you generally get kindness back, if you plant divisiveness, you are likely to get divisiveness back. It’s the old principle of sowing and reaping, or Karma if you like.
As a leader, you are watched all the time-your reactions, your principles and values, your character, and whether your words line up with your actions. Every time you say or do anything, you plant a seed that will take root and grow in your culture. It may take a while to show up, but it will.
Changing a culture once it is rooted is hard to do. You must remove the old plants and weeds, and start planting new seeds. Waiting for the seed to become a full-grown plant takes a long time and a lot of care. There is a period of darkness as the seed develops its roots and strength to emerge from the soil. Then the seed makes its way through the soil to the air. It needs sunlight, water, fertilizer, and weeding to grow into a strong and healthy plant.
Leaders are given the opportunity to take the long view to plant a growing and thriving culture. By taking the short view, the expedient view, it will land them in trouble, they may grow a weed patch instead of a foundation of quality.
This applies to leaders at home and in the community as well. The seed you plant is the one that will grow. Think about raising children. We care for them and they learn from us by watching behaviours. Children from homes where seeds of love, kindness, and goodness are planted and nurtured, will exhibit those characteristics. Children from violent or abusive homes will exhibit those characteristics or the consequences of them.
What seeds are you planting this spring?
You can’t plant an apple seed and expect to get a tomato.