Do you recognize this? Every spring in much of the U.S., dandelions pop up in yards and gardens. Though I know a few people who let their yards “go wild,” most of have been trained by the media, neighbors, and gardening supply companies (the ones who sell dry/liquid chemicals that kill dandelions and other “weeds”) to despise this fast-growing and abundant plant.
It may come as a surprise that until recently, dandelions were valued. Dandelions specimens were exhibited at fairs and highly regarded for their medicinal value. Some folks even removed grass from their gardens so that their dandelions could flourish. It’s amazing how times change given the desire for a perfectly manicured lawn and the means to achieve it.
OK, I admit that I don’t like them in my yard, but I also have to admit that I enjoy plucking and blowing on the seed pod, sending hundreds of tiny seeds drifting abroad. Yes, I realize that I’m spreading the seeds and that I’m helping propagate dandelions, but it’s simply too much fun. Take a breath, blow out, and watch the seeds float away. Amazing and fun! As kids, we’d literally pick hundreds of dandelion seed pods and, in an afternoon, blow seeds all over the neighborhood, never realizing that the meticulous lawn owners were fuming. Oh well. There are worse ways to have fun.
Recently, as the dandelions came back in full force (the harsh winter didn’t prevent them from returning) I started thinking about the seeds. I started thinking about how the seeds get spread by the wind (or kids blowing on the pods), land on the ground, and sprout. Some of the seeds don’t ever take root and some dandelion plants never see maturity, but many of the seeds ultimately turn into a full, healthy, and vibrant dandelion plant.
The same is true for the world-class leader who spreads seeds wherever he goes (kinda like Johnny Appleseed). Such a leader pours himself into others. He makes an investment and helps others grow and develop. Everywhere he’s been, you can see the fruit of his labor, healthy relationships, and successful people. People who, in turn, pour themselves into others.
There aren’t many things I enjoy more than helping others grow and develop. It’s something that comes naturally to me and it’s also something that I’ve cultivated. I’ve spent a lot of hours studying and practicing how to get the best out of people and how to turn that performance into advancement, promotions, and the achievement of their dreams.
Spreading seeds has many benefits. It’s personally rewarding for both you and the other individual. The larger organization is also a recipient of the benefits when seeds spread and turn into healthy kids, athletes, family members, and professionals. There is a strong bond between the spreader of seeds and the healthy plant. I’m fortunate to have great relationships with folks all over the world because everywhere I’ve been, I’ve spread seeds (and yes, I also cultivate and nurture the young plant as it grows, but that’s another article).
What about you? Do you invest time and effort into others? Do you pour yourself into the lives of others, helping them grow and develop? Are you a positive influence on those around you?
Fruit comes from healthy plants. Those plants came from seed that was spread. Do yourself, the world, and those in your immediate circle a great favor: spread seed. Pick up the dandelion seed pod and blow. Watch the seed scatter, take root, and flourish. Then, marvel in the return. Rejoice with others in their success. Celebrate with them as they, learning from your example, pick up a seed pod and blow, spreading seeds and multiplying, exponentially, life, joy, hope, and love.
As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.
Dr. Robert Gerwig is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.
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