If you plant a perfect palm (tree) seed in North Dakota, the seed will not grow.
Is it because the seed is bad?
It’s because palm (tree) seeds need to be in very warm places with high humidity in order to sprout and grow.
It’s not just the seed that matters.
But also putting it into the right soil.
Typically when we think of improving performance, we think of improving ourselves – and that’s a good thing.
But leaders can never forget that it’s a two part equation: “right seed right soil.”
As performers, we’re like the seeds. And our job is to always prepare ourselves to be the best.
But as a leader our job is to also prepare the right soil for our seedlings to sprout.
Too often leaders blame a person’s poor performance on their lack of commitment, their lack of skill, or their lack of discipline.
But the reality is that many times the seed is fine, they just aren’t in “the right soil.”
They haven’t been given the right tools.
They haven’t been given the proper training.
They haven’t been given ample attention.
And just like a seed won’t sprout if we don’t provide the proper care, neither will a good team member ever perform if they are in the wrong environment.
It’s always about the right seed and the right soil.
So if you’re a leader make sure you’re not only trying to find the best seeds, but that you’re also doing the work to prepare the proper soil.