Have you ever been in a position where you know you need to grow, but you’re not quite sure how? What does “becoming a better leader” look like? What do great leaders do?
When it comes down to it, “great leaders” make things grow, and as a result, they grow themselves. For this reason, I think leadership is akin to farming.
My brother-in-law is a crop consultant (who knew that existed?) and has built his professional life around helping farmers protect their territory from unwanted danger and helping them grow their crops as efficiently as possible. If there is an issue with the soil, the crops will suffer. If there are pests that are devouring parts of the field, the yield will be lower at harvest time. If the crops aren’t being watered sufficiently, they will die.
Farmers are very clear on two things:
- They know exactly where their territory is and what’s in it.
- They want their crops to be healthy and flourishing.
Can you see the parallel between this and leadership?
What Great Leaders Do
Leadership comes with a territory. This territory, or field, has been entrusted to the leader and it’s up to the leaders to guard their territory from unwanted danger and to invest in growing it to become as healthy as possible.
So what do great leaders do?
Great leaders tend their field.
Leading others comes with a significant level of responsibility and opportunity to influence.
I want you to think about your own life right now. Let’s dig deeper into understanding your current role as a leader and what needs to happen for growth to occur.
Define Your Field
Your field is your domain. This is everything from your responsibilities to your roles and relationships. Think holistically about what is in your field.
- What roles are in your field? (Ex: Manager, Husband, Father, Small Group Leader)
- What relationships are in your field? (Ex: My team members, my boss, my wife, my kids, my neighbors, etc.)
- Are there any other responsibilities that are in your territory that are important for you to keep in mind?
Grow Your Field
- Looking at your field, how healthy would you say it is? Is it green, lush and growing? Is it “so-so”, but needs some work? Is it dying or dead?
- What is needed for you to grow your field from where it is now to where you want it to be?
- What do your key relationships need from you right now? What about your roles?
- What do you need to prune?
Use these questions to get you started. Honestly assess your current reality and make a plan to take ownership of your field, protect it from harm and begin growing it.
It’s not going to be easy because it goes beyond you and requires you to sacrifice for the sake of others.
The reward of tending your field and investing the time, money and energy into growing it will be well worth it.