Farming Success

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Success can become something you farm instead of something you hope for. It starts with your people. Every person on your team is borrowed seed.  They are all there for a purpose but they are all not fully deployed all the time.  Some skill sets are only going to be needed in crisis situations for example or when a customer needs to be saved and you need to pour some honey on a wound.  We all have that one person we trust to get to the bottom of a problem and save the account or client relationship when it all hits the fan.  Understanding the seasonality of your team’s skills helps to know when to plant them for maximum return.  I always try to remember that today’s planting is tomorrow’s resource.  If you refuse to understand that you should plant in the planting season, regardless of need, you will be perpetually short on resources when the seasons change because the growth that needed to happen with your team to supply the necessary answers and other resources never happened.  Seasonality as a mindset is crucial to having the right people at the right time.

In sixth grade, I met Townsend Hare. I was new to the school and he was a year older than me.  Townsend is that rare breed of kid that wasn’t really popular but also wasn’t unpopular either.  He was quiet and self-assured.  His parents had a working farm and he was always busy fixing something or helping out at home so he kept his nose pretty clean.  We became best friends immediately.  He was my opposite.  Like I said he’s quiet, I definitely am not. He avoided conflict but wasn’t scared of it.  I, on the other hand,  assumed it was going to happen so I just went ahead and caused it.  He has pulled me out of more scraps and fist fights than I care to count.  He never got in one though, the other kids respected him too much I think.  His character has always been that dependable, consistent, steady kind that is so rare in the world but miraculous when it shows up in a thirteen-year-old. 

Townsend and I are still best friends to this day.  He stood beside me when I got married.  He visited when our kids were born and if I’m in trouble, any kind of trouble, he’s my first call.  Funny thing is we only talk about every other month.  We both have busy lives.  If I didn’t realize that our relationship, like all relationships, is seasonal, I might force a destructive meltdown because I would interpret distance as non-commitment.  I know better.  He is the most committed, loyal person I know and the seasons of life don’t have bearing on his character.  Townsend and I survive because understanding seasonality also builds grace into the relationship with those people that are necessary for your dream to happen.  It’s an additional benefit that I wanted to mention because it could save you from forcing a relational departure with someone that will be crucial in the next season.

Finding the right people really comes down to a few basic filters that I apply at the top end of the decision process.

• Are they “vision first” people?

• Can they bring impact to the situation?  

• Has my familiarity clouded my view of my available resources?  Am I overlooking someone?

• What do I need to plant most in this season?  Notice I didn’t say what do I need most?  If you are asking that question it is too late to plant…you have to purchase.

• Is someone that has departed my organization or outside of my organization necessary for the vision to happen? 

On our wall at my office, we have our core values, number two is “No one will ever love a company until its employees love it first.”  I believe that and I have seen it prove itself true over and over and over. It is my sincere hope that everyone reading this sees their dreams fulfilled.  Nothing would make me happier than to hear that something you read allowed for alignment that made the miraculous happen.