You Can’t Harvest a Garden if You Never Plant the Seeds

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.




Here’s something you might not know about me. I have a degree in Organizational Leadership. This pursuit stemmed largely from an interest in how to motivate people, sociology, and cultural (world, societal, and micro) interaction. I studied people, what makes them do the things they do, and how to help them reach their own as well as shared organizational goals.


Throughout the course of study, we learned many leadership theories. One principle seemed to crop up on a frequent basis, though. That was the requirement to appropriately plan. It is important in everything from change management to setting performance goals and day-to-day supervision.


The underlying principle is; what you do today will lead to outcomes in the future.

Let me give you a couple of examples.


Stephen Covey, an educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker in the area of leadership, coined this theory, “The Law of the Harvest” and related it to farming. A farmer must prepare the soil and plant seeds in the spring. The seedlings must be fertilized and watered all summer. The farmer doesn’t just sit around all year and expect to have a harvest come fall!


Now.  You certainly don’t have to take a leadership class, or read one of Covey’s books, to learn this stuff.

How many times have you heard, “you reap what you sow”? That’s the Law of the Harvest!

Ever watch squirrels? They don’t wait until winter to go looking for food – they store it in the summer when it’s plentiful.


We have to do the background work!  Me.  You.  Squirrels.  Farmers.

It’s not sexy or glamorous.

It’s not always fun.

Sometimes you don’t feel like it.

It might not excite you, but it has to be done!



Here’s the second example.

I love traveling and teaching.Podium

All of my travel doesn’t “just happen” though.

I don’t just arrive at a location and teach my classes.


The trips start months in advance with a negotiation and contract-writing phase.


Today I spent a couple of hours booking airfare, hotels, and cars for upcoming trips. Once that was done, it was a few more hours editing, ordering, and shipping handbooks.

Before the class, I’ll need to review legislative updates and changes to ensure everything I’m presenting is current.  I will update my slides.  I’ll also need to follow-up and confirm the books were delivered.

As the date arrives, I’ll need to get to the airport, catch my flight, grab a rental car, drive to the hotel, find the class location and then – only then – stand in front of the class.


Do you know what? Getting healthier and making changes to become more fit don’t “just happen” either.

You don’t wake up one morning “magically” at your goal.

You need to do the work to get there.

It’s a process.


You have to plant the seeds before you can reap the harvest.



Here’s a link to the book “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” by Stephen R Covey


  1. Love the Covey material and sounds like your really following his time management and organizational skills. I enjoyed the point of your post and the excellent way you illustrated with personal examples. Thanks.

  2. This is so true. You have to follow the process and the program. There really are NO shortcuts. Thanks so much for sharing.

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