Mark Cole: Leadership Seasons

“How do I find balance in my life?” seems to be a very popular question for this generation of leaders.

While much has been written and taught on this subject, I think we all desire a sense of balance at home and at work. But the idea of balance is difficult for me to teach because balance implies a scale with two priorities—one on each side—both receiving equal weight and equal attention.

The truth is, this is impractical for a leader.

It is virtually impossible to give equal time and equal attention to everything in life.

Instead of teaching on “Balance,” I have found it more applicable to think about the life of a leader in terms of “Seasons.”

Think about it from a farmer’s perspective. The priorities of the farm depend on the season:

  • Spring is for planting
  • Summer is for maintaining
  • Fall is for harvesting
  • Winter is for recharging

It makes me think of a popular verse in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” These words were written by the wisest man to ever live—Solomon—to make a clear point about the importance of seasons: timing matters!

Many people fail because they are out of sync with both time and place. They plant in the wrong season. They plant before they plan. They try to harvest before the fruit is ripe.

The list of bad timing decisions could go on and on, but here’s what we know—the right action at the right time will produce the right results.

I live in Georgia. When springtime comes here, it is unmistakable. Pollen counts go through the roof; flowers dot the landscape like paint on a canvas; live oak trees become timely canopies for backyard BBQ’s.

It’s my favorite season—but not just for these reasons. Spring is my favorite season because it is a season for planting.

Let’s look at Spring through a leadership lens.

1. Spring is a season for plowing the field.

Plowing means preparation. Before you can plant, you have to plow.

As a leader, before you can put your team in the game, you have to prepare—the success of the team depends on the preparation of the leader. Just like for the farmer, the most fruit will come after a well-prepared Spring.

2. Spring is a season for the seed.

The planting season is not the time to go on vacation. It’s the time for your best effort. Avoid the temptation to take a spring break!

Here’s the truth about the harvest: you reap what you sow but only after you sow it. If you want to be successful in reaching your goals, take advantage of the opportunities in Spring.

3. Spring is a season for paying the price.

More than any other season, Spring is a time for diligence and consistency because the success of the next two seasons is determined by Spring.

Success in the planting season comes only to the one who persevered, stayed with the project, and planted the entire field. Sometimes you may have to change the tire on your tractor, reload your planter or go back to that spot that was too wet to plow. Planting is a process, and success will meet the ones who were willing to pay the price.

Is your team or organization in a season of Spring? If so, how are you maximizing this season? It is very important to recognize the correct priorities in this season.

In order to be successful, the leader must know what the team needs to plant and where it needs to plant it. Remember: being out of sync with time and place is the reason many people fail to reach their goals.

If you are in the season of Spring, turn your passion for production into the energy for planting. Be intentional about what seeds you sow and where you sow them.

This is the season for your greatest gains because leaders and farmers alike understand this universal truth: Harvest time will be here before you know it!

2 Comments

  1. David Larter on April 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Would like to get Mark’s Leadership Blog…thanks
    Dave Larter

  2. Kathy DeHaven on April 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Great really interesting perspective about timing of planting, planning, and harvesting. Love Mark’s lessons !

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