The S-E-E-D-S of Growth
LeadershipTraction

For Your Interest – September 2014

In this rush-rush, increasingly fast, priority-changing, crisis-du-jour type world of ours, the importance of working quickly and efficiently cannot be understated. The need for immediate results is irrefutable. A rapid return-on-investments is essential. Yet for the budding and experienced leader, alike, there is one element of managerial acumen that cannot – and must not – be hurried: The planting and cultivating of motivational “Growth Seeds.”

Growth Seeds are those special insights we share with others when we have their undivided attention. They are what inspire continued learning and growth. They are what enable greater creativity, motivation, and decisiveness. They are what help make good things happen for people that might not happen otherwise.  
While the Seeds are what plant an idea, they likely won’t germinate without proper cultivation. The cultivation process, then, is what enables insights to take shape and plans to be made. It is what helps allay one’s fears and bolster one’s courage. It is what moves people to action and helps lessons to be learned. Together, the planting and nurturing of motivational Growth Seeds make success imminently more “harvestable.”   

The S-E-E-D-S of Growth

How does a manager effectively plant and nurture motivational Growth Seeds if so inclined?  The acronym “S-E-E-D-S” suggests a number of ways of doing exactly that:
  • S – Seek opportunities to connect with others in meaningful ways – Stuart was clearly struggling with the pressures at both work and home and was so grateful that his boss took the time to offer some helpful hints that truly were helpful. The opportunity to do so seemed serendipitous. And it was! But because Margaret, his boss, was always looking for ways to connect more meaningfully with members of her staff, she saw this as a perfect moment to do exactly that – and did. As a result, Stuart’s opinion of Margaret skyrocketed and he became increasingly more interested in other suggestions she had for him over time!
     
  • E – Enjoy interacting in an authentic and supportive manner – Even though the budget meeting was tense and nerve-wracking, Phil made a point of expressing his appreciation to everyone for sticking with it. By the end of the day, everyone who attended not only thanked him for acknowledging their efforts, but shared how much they learned from the meeting, which they ably applied in every budget meeting that followed, year after year after year!
     
  • E – Expect that the seeds you plant will ultimately flower in some wonderfully surprising ways – Craig thought that a subtle change in the way his support team worked with new accounts could meaningfully improve employee morale. So his team’s initial reluctance to the idea did not particularly frustrate him. No one expected, though, that in addition to creating a better atmosphere, which ultimately happened, his team would also establish new company records for customer satisfaction and add-on sales … for each of the next five quarters. Based on these and other successes, several members of Craig's team are now in the managerial ranks, themselves!
     
  • D – Don’t worry if some seeds remain seemingly dormant for a while – Jennifer understood the value of continuing education and always encouraged her staff to take full advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program, even though few ever did. Several years later, long after Jennifer left the company, she got a call from a former staffer who wanted her to know that he finally did go back to school, earned his degree, got promoted, changed jobs, and almost doubled his salary in the process!
     
  • S – Suggest others join you in the planting of Growth Seeds – One person planting seeds, and cultivating them over time, can make a huge difference in another’s life. One person planting seeds, and cultivating them over time, can make a huge difference in a number of people’s lives. So imagine what could happen when an increasing number of people start planting seeds, and cultivating them over time!
It’s important to note that when someone regularly and routinely does plant, and cultivate, motivational Growth Seeds, they tend to learn and grow themselves, as well. They tend to become more strategic in how they problem-solve. They tend to become better skilled at leveraging their time, effort, and organizational resources. They tend to become more ready, willing, and able, to have “difficult” conversations, when necessary. And, as a result, they tend to become known, over time, as having mastered an essential element of management excellence.
 
Based on all of this, maybe you might want to take a look at how regularly you plant and cultivate motivational Growth Seeds, yes?! (And for what it's worth, it's said that autumn is the best time to seed your lawn.) 

P.S.If the seasons are changing where you're at, be sure to make a point of enjoying the colors!

P.P.S. If you haven't already, be sure to learn about The 360° of Directional Leadership.

- bz
Barry Zweibel | 847-291-9735
LeadershipTraction® | www.ldrtr.com
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