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Growing your seed corn (Book excerpt)

This excerpt comes from Leadership at 100 Feet: Growing Leaders in High-Performance Teams, an anthology by Two Blue Aces’ contributors. To read the rest of this story and many others like it you can purchase your own copy on Amazon!


Title: Growing Your Seed Corn

Author: Rob Polumbo

Corn is one of the most difficult crops to plant, maintain and sustain. Every variable, from soil content, temperature, moisture, nourishment, and protection from disease, has stringent parameters in the four-stage process (plant, germinate, vegetate, and reproduce) to successfully grow corn year after year. In addition, corn is wind-pollinated, so it must be planted near other corn plants to allow cross-pollination to ensure the best genetics for success. So, too, does cultivating new seed corn in your organization. It requires a well-thought-out plan, precise ingredients, diverse pollination, teamwork, and timely execution to continuously grow the next leaders of the team. I told you in my first chapter what was the most important experience that planted my seed on rich leadership soil. Now, I want to tell you what inspired me to sprout and establish a deep and solid foundation for becoming a leader.

My introduction to the fighter aviation business was the most instrumental part of my development into new seed corn for the Air Force and the rest of my professional career. As a wingman, I was challenged daily by my flight leads to become an outstanding follower. Each mission we flew was meticulously planned, briefed, executed, and then thoroughly debriefed. Many times, the debrief lasted longer than the planning, briefing, and flying mission combined. Lessons learned were always summarized at the end of the entire process, so they were fresh in our minds for the next day's mission. This “lather, rinse, repeat” methodology developed a foundation of habit-forming processes that became the core foundation of approaching any situation or decision matrix. My immediate supervisors were charged with my daily growth and provided the cross-pollination of different leadership styles to meld into the best formula for my development...


To read the rest of this story and many others like it you can purchase your own copy on Amazon!



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