Come Spring, the desire to kick off your shoes at the sight of green grass or a sandy beach is nearly Pavlovian. Spending time outside in the glorious sun and feeling the warmth on your skin ranks high on my list of favorite things. In the US, we are right at that tipping point where as much of life happens outdoors as in. Our gardens are getting planned, our yards are starting to bloom with spring flowers, schools are winding down and there is a hint of summer around the corner. In most gardens, we plant specific seeds and can predict what will grow. Every once in a while, there may be a surprise bloom from a rogue seed, but for the most part we can anticipate what will grow from the seeds we plant.
Training seeds are a little different. We often plan our staff development with specific ideas of what we would like to see learned or a skill that needs developed. We start with a desired outcome, and then combine the necessary elements to produce a healthy and flourishing team member. Sometimes the seeds take, and sometimes they don’t. Many times the environment in which the seeds are planted has a profound effect on whether anything (or anyone) will grow from the experience. Think about the environment in which your teams work. Do you have all of the necessary ingredients for the training seeds to take root and grow? Do your leadership skills provide what your team needs to flourish under your guidance?
In the Eyes module of our program, we talk about being a leader who has a vision for the future. When you set benchmarks and goals for your team, vision is an important element for success. When planning a garden, you have an idea of what you want it to look like before you plant your seeds. The same thing happens with leading teams. If you have a vision for what your team will look like in a year, what seeds do you need to plant now in order for them to get there?