Leadership / Training / Personal Development

Leadership Moment — 16 Jul 23

Sowing seeds of leadership.

Mark McMillion
5 min readJul 17


Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

So, there I was, sitting in church this morning and listening intently. They read a portion of Matthew, Chapter 13. That’s when Jesus shares a parable about planting seeds. Some seeds will fall on the pathway, some will fall on rocky soil, some will fall in the thorns, and some will fall on fertile ground. The relevant verses are at the end of the article.

It’s a great parable and one of my favorites, but today I’m embarrassed to admit my thoughts strayed from the message and went to leadership training. This bit really resonated with me because it’s similar to my experiences trying to help leaders grow.

First of all, let me be clear. I am not trying to compare what I do in terms of leadership training to the work of Jesus.

I’m also not saying my leadership training is at some exalted level. I’m confident in the quality of my material and expertise. I’m certain I can help leaders and companies improve. I’m also confident that I’ll be even better in five years so there’s definitely room for improvement.

Now here’s what I am saying. The part that really struck me this morning, when anyone is doing leadership training, they’re sharing material. It might be about emotional intelligence, performance feedback, delegation, or whatever, that training audience is there and these leadership seeds are being sown.

Some part of that audience is going to receive that material and think, “that’s good stuff, I should use it.” The problem is they’re really busy. Like the farmer sowing seeds, they may have the greatest intentions, but those seeds (leadership training) fall on the pathway.

Guess what? It’s just too busy on the pathway for those seeds to grow. Yeah, the leader really wants to get better, listen better, communicate better, give better guidance, but dang it, they’re really busy and that stuff takes extra time and effort. That leader is so busy getting stuff done, like making sure the cover sheets on the TPS reports are correct, they don’t have time to reflect or deliberate to communicate a better message, to give better, more precise, thoughtful guidance. Gosh darn it, he would but…



Mark McMillion

Retired Army officer with two tours in Baghdad, married with four kids. Proud West Virginian and West Point grad. Works available on Amazon.