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The Journey to Becoming an Effective Leader: My Planting Stage

By Joey Havens

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Over the past few months, I have been reflecting on my own growth toward finding my purpose. In my last blog I spoke about remembrances from my early preparation years. This caused me to reflect upon The Seed’s second stage, the planting stage. Jon Gordon says, “During the planting stage, you realize it’s not about what others want you to be. It’s not even about what you want yourself to be. It’s about what you were created to be.” 

 Planting yourself is a personal choice, a decision that is usually connected to a defining event in your life. It is so easy to wander through life without really planting yourself. When I first joined HORNE, I certainly didn’t plant myself. It was a timely opportunity that I really viewed as just another step forward in my career. I felt good about the opportunity, but I was frequently looking for the next big thing, the next challenge.

Looking back, there were two defining moments that resulted in me planting myself and beginning to work toward making a real difference. The first was the opportunity to start a new focus area for physician consulting. I became a sponge and over the next few years I learned everything I could about physicians and medical practices. I grew and began to share my knowledge. I helped other partners with their physician clients. I started focusing on making a difference for our physician clients and my team members. 

Then, in 1991, our executive partner offered me the opportunity to move and run a new office location. This was a big decision and as a result, I really planted myself. Overnight I had staff for which I was personally responsible and I became focused on how to help this office, this team be successful. I really began to experience the joy of seeing others become successful. I felt the satisfaction of seeing the team work together to grow and do some extraordinary things. I dug in and developed deep roots in the HORNE culture, clients and people. 

Finally, my purpose became clear to me. I began to use my abilities to make a difference for my team and our firm.  My thirst to grow was stronger than ever before, but it was clearly focused on what was best for my firm and my team. I still had plenty ahead of me in the growth stage, some of it would include painful pruning along the way, but that is how and when I became planted at HORNE. It’s the best career decision I have ever made.

When did you become really planted? If you haven’t truly planted yourself yet, the ground has never been more fertile nor the potential for growth greater, than it is right now. We each have the opportunity to reach our full potential. Dig in and form strong roots.