Many “so called” leaders manipulate people to get results in their business. They attempt to use their policies and leadership structure to control and contain their employees. The power behind their results is “fear.” People only perform out of fear of losing their job or fear of being abused verbally/emotionally. The problem with this is that it only leads to “temporary behavior modification.” When they are not being watched or controlled they will most likely do the minimum and in some cases intentionally the opposite of what they are supposed to do. Additionally, many organizations places a “glass ceiling” on the growth of their leaders and the culture is often like a seed falling on hard ground or among weeds, and people never grow to their full potential or produce fruit.
According to Psychologist John A. Johnson, Ph.D. “A truly free person does not attempt to control others. Trying to control others, even people who, in our eyes, are misbehaving, is like trying to make water run uphill. Unless you can convince a person that listening to you is in his or her own best self-interest, you are wasting valuable time, which is antithetical to freedom.”
Leader Farming is different, it’s about GROWING PEOPLE TO GROW THE BUSINESS. Policies and leadership structure are used to establish boundaries similar to a parent setting boundaries for their children to protect them from harm. When my son Harris was 2 years old, he was almost shocked while playing with an emergency flashlight that was plugged into an electrical outlet. I spanked his hand and sternly warned him to never touch an outlet again. This boundary was established to protect him from hurting himself because I love him. It may cause “fear” temporarily, but the power behind my relationship with my son is “love.” Love is ultimately the power behind Leader Farming. The goal of Leader Farming is to help every team member move from boundaries that instill “fear” to a place where they have the freedom to grow. Team members perform because of their intrinsic motivation (love) and instead of “temporary behavior modification” they have “permanent life transformation.” They know they are loved and do the right thing because it is the right thing to do even when no one is watching. The organization allows them to grow and even leave if it’s what’s best for the individual. The culture is like a seed that fell on good soil and produced much fruit. Because they produce fruit, even if they leave, the leave a trail of high performance for others to follow.
If you are a leader or aspiring to be one, what is the power behind your ability to get things done? Fear or Love? Will you continue to use manipulation and control to get results or would you like to start Leader Farming? Leader Farmers, establish boundaries, cultivate culture, and lead in freedom.
I have been Leader Farming in Marietta, Ga at Macland Crossing Chick-fil-A for the last 8 years and I am proud of the crop of leaders that have grown from Macland. However, this past week I found out that I was chosen to cultivate some new land for growing leaders in Rockmart, Ga (Facebook – @CFARockmart). Unfortunately I can’t keep both restaurants because they are not in the same market. I love my team and community at Macland Crossing, and will miss them dearly, but Polk County is my home. Having a platform to make a difference were I grew up is a dream come true!