Thursday Three … The Laws of Reaping and Sowing

One of my favorite companies I work with is a vegetable farm up in the Midwest.  This year I have been spending a day each month helping them build a leadership culture. 

Being from the south I am always excited to roll through the farm land south of Chicago. It makes me happy that not everyone has to deal with red clay. This month as I rode in I noticed something different. The normal black dirt had a bunch of tiny sprouts. Two inch corn plants popping up for acres and acres. It was a good reminder of the law of the harvest.


For this week’s Thursday Three I want to remind you of my three favorite harvest principles.

  1. You reap what you sow. This one is straight out of my favorite book, the Bible. Galatians 6:7 reads, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” For leaders, it is vital to understand the first law of the harvest. Whatever you plant is going to grow. Sow encouragement into your people and courage grows. Sow criticism, and negativity begins to sprout. What are you planting into your team?
  2. You reap more than you sow. I first learned this one from my buddy, John Orr. A little seeding leads to a lot of reaping. Like the first one, this principle is true both positively and negatively. Rest assured, the harvest will be bigger than the sowing. How much and what are you sowing?
  3. You reap later than you sow. John also reminds me of the importance of trust with this one. Unfortunately, many leaders give up too early and they stop sowing.  Be patient. You’ll be glad you did.

[Tweet “”When leaders stop sowing, things stop growing.””]

I can only imagine how much fun it is going to be when the true harvest comes in near the farm later in the summer. Even better will be when of a high-performance culture is realized in a few months.

If you look at your home or organization, what are you sowing into the lives of those you lead? Whatever it is, be prepared for it to affect you later. If you are hands off, lazy, unorganized, or apathetic, you will not like what is going to happen. If on the other hand you are focused, intentional, aligned, and engaged, great things are on the way.

Remember you reap what you sow. You reap more than you so. And you reap later than you so. 

Keep planting seeds. Soon things will begin to sprout and before you know it it will be harvest time.


Leave a comment


5 years ago

This reminder comes at a good time. Frustration can occur easily to us as leaders as the young managers we try to cultivate trip and stumble. Negativity is a quick knee jerk and still we have to push the positive and support them and always lead by example.


5 years ago

Thanks, Rich!

Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR

5 years ago

Over the years working with students I developed the “Law of the Fallow Field”:
Over the years, living in farm country of western Pennsylvania I became aware of what I call the “Law of the Fallow Field.” In farming there is a principle of crop rotation, i.e., a field is sectioned off by threes. In the first section corn is grown, in the second section, potatoes or soybeans are planted, and the third section is left fallow, nothing is planted to give the soil a season of rest. In the following years, each section is rotated through the cycle.
The first two sections are easy to understand, they grow corn or potatoes or soybeans, but it is the third section that is interesting. If you drive past a field with this type of planting, check out the section left fallow, intentionally nothing was planted in it. Yet, you will notice this section is filled with a abundance of weeds growing. But, the farmer didn’t plant any weeds!
Weeds, just like sin, vices, negative attitudes, seem to be ubiquitous, they’re everywhere. You don’t need to plant them, they just appear and grow. However, to grow something positive like corn, potatoes, soybeans, or virtue, teamwork, that has to be intentional, and you have to repeat it each and every growing season. Just because you grew something last year does not mean you can skip this year, otherwise those weeds/sins/vices will sprout up in your fallow field.


5 years ago

Great insights, Brian!

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