“Employees don’t grow as a result of an annual conversation. Growth happens a little bit, every day, over time, through ongoing dialogue.” – Julie Winkle Guilioni, Co-author, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go
This summer, my kids wanted to plant a garden. They were enthusiastic about using recycled bricks to build raised beds, picking out vegetable plants, and getting them in the ground as soon as we got home. My husband and I reminded them that if it didn’t rain, they would need to water the garden in order to give the plants what they needed to grow, and keep the weeds from choking out the good plants. You probably can see where this is going, right?
A week or two passed, and pretty soon the other delights of the summer — camps, swimming, movies — replaced their desire to care for and cultivate their garden. By mid-summer, the local deer population decimated our our small patch of corn, the bugs ate trails through the green tomatoes, and rabbits and groundhogs feasted on the cucumber vines, nibbling them right down to the ground. As summer comes to a close, all we have to show for their efforts are a handful of grape tomatoes in a bowl on the kitchen counter.
Having planted a few gardens in my time — some wildly successful, some not so much — I could have said “no” to their garden scheme, explaining that growth wouldn’t happen based on early enthusiasm and a few trips out with a watering can. But if I took away their opportunity to experience it firsthand, then how would they learn and grow? As Julie’s quote reminds us, growth, whether it’s in a garden, in our children, ourselves, or our company, happens a little bit, every day, over time.
Growth in the Corporate World
In 2012, Becky Robinson recognized the need for a digital marketing agency who focused on authors and thought leaders in the business and leadership realm. Her idea grew from a side occupation into a seedling business, and, like all seedlings, the growth in the beginning was slow and deliberate. As her ideas became bigger than herself, she sent out supporting runners — inviting people to join her, and opening doors for others (like me) to grow professionally and personally.
A little bit, every day, over time, Weaving Influence has grown into a company that supports the dreams of our staff and clients.
As our core value of Growth states:
At Weaving Influence, we know growth won’t be easy. We know we will be standing at the precipice of breakthroughs at times, reluctant to do the hard stuff. But we know the hard stuff will get our authors and clients where they need to be.
And as a team we have faith that we may end up astonishing ourselves.
I’ve had the privilege of working with Becky from the beginning, and seven years on I often look around, astonished at how far we have come and how much we have grown — as individuals and as a company. Growth has come as we accepted the idea that there is always room for improvement. What worked seven years ago no longer makes the cut, but provides a foundation of experience on which to continue growing forward.
With Growth as a core value, we are always innovating, looking for new ways to make our clients shine, solidly perched on past successes, but never satisfied with the status quo. For the last seven years, we’ve discovered that we’re tougher than we think, and we work best when we work together, growing as a team.
Speaking personally, I’m grateful to work with a company that doesn’t use annual conversations to encourage professional growth, but offers continual opportunities, a little bit, every day, over time, to ensure that I am challenged to step outside my comfort zone and experience astonishing growth.
If you want to grow, don’t rely on what others have done . . . get your hands in the dirt and start digging!
Fun Fact! ⇨ This week is the 7th anniversary of the launch of Julie Winkle Giulioni’s book, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, with Beverly Kaye. Julie has personally been a part of my professional growth, and it seems only right to mention this milestone. Pick up a copy of the updated second edition on Amazon today!
Carrie Koens joined the Weaving Influence team in May 2012 and has held a number of roles, including three years as the Book Launch Director (a title she stepped away from in June 2016 in order to focus on the needs of her growing family), and she currently serves the team as a Writer and Consultant. An INTJ with a penchant for culture, book stores, Parisian cafés, Indian curry, British mystery shows, and her passport, you can find her on Twitter @CGKoens.