The Seemingly Elusive Leadership Fruit

leadership fruit harvest

If you’ve known me for any length of time, I hope it’s clear I’m passionate about leadership development and leadership growth. I’m always talking about how we can apply ourselves and enlarge our capacity to do and be our absolute best. There is always so much to learn and so many ways to advance our cause and our impact.

As leaders, our focus tends to be on what we need to do to grow ourselves, so we can grow our influence. I want to take a slight detour from that for one moment and talk about something I think is important for you to remember: your lasting ripple effect. What you do in your leadership journey impacts the lives and affects the hearts of others for generations to come.

Even, and especially, when we may not realize it.

There is tremendous joy in seeing those you have led step up, perform, and do well. There is almost an indescribable sense of pride or accomplishment when the teacher gets to witness their student become the teacher, so to speak.

In recent months, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with some people I had the privilege of leading and mentoring for a number of years. I haven’t been around them much recently, but I got to go and see them in action. I got to go see what they were building, who they were leading and as I sat there and watched them blossom into everything they had worked for, I became very teary eyed – I have to admit –  taking in the moment and suddenly realizing my contribution had mattered.

Sometimes as leaders we pour in, we pour in, we teach, we train, we lead, we coach, we do all this stuff, and we wonder, all of this we’re pouring in, is it ever going to bear fruit? Is it ever going to produce anything? Then, every once in a while, we get to see one of those individuals we’ve poured into absolutely shine.

I’ve had other people who have sat in my office many times over the years, and I’ve watched them grow. Everything I suggested, everything I recommended, they took it to heart and simply went and did it.

One person, in particular, was sharing with me they’ve taken on a new leadership role in their job. It’s a management position, and they were sharing how they are doing what I’ve taught them to do in the workplace and the marketplace, and those concepts and principles are fundamentally shifting an entire corporation. As I sat there listening, I was blown away thinking how awesome it is when you can see the fruit of your own work.

I want to encourage you today as a leader. We don’t always get to see the fruit of our work, but every once in a while you get a little peek at it. My hope for you is God will bring some epiphany or some opportunity into your world the next few days where you realize, like I have, the work you’re doing really matters.

The message you’re communicating really matters. The time you spend with mentees or people you manage or people you lead, that time is so valuable, and it matters. I promise you. You can’t sow seed without reaping a harvest. My prayer for you is you get to see and experience the joy of watching those you’ve poured into shine and do well.

I trust this has encouraged you today. Don’t be weary. Don’t get tired. Keep being the person God has called you to be. Keep doing the thing He has given you to do. You’re going to see the fruit when the season is right.