These happy people are the 130 Gustavus Alumni Mentors who are helping students grow into their careers. (That’s me, way up at the top!)

Autumn in the American heartland means seeds go dormant. But last week was peak growing season for leaders around here.

Four years ago, Melinda and I planted two seeds with promise: The Good Leadership Breakfast Series and the Gustavus Alumni Mentoring Program. Despite the fading sunlight of October, both seeds are growing wild today!

Research we conducted in 2012 with the Dale Carnegie organization proved active mentoring is a critical ingredient in today’s budget-starved climate. One of the reasons both programs are blossoming: good leaders want to help one another grow today.

Kevin Warren energized the 170 Good Leadership Breakfast guests with his amazing generosity. Like my Vikings purple jacket?

Last Friday, we exceeded our Sold Out capacity at the Good Leadership Breakfast – it’s bursting at the seams. Speaker Kevin Warren captivated more than 170 good leaders by sharing his aspirations to be the first African American President of an NFL Franchise. He and his wife Greta blew us away with their generosity, by personally matching the $3280 collected in the Bucket of Good Will! The $6560 given to the Miracles of Mitch Foundation is our largest single contribution – together Good Leadership Breakfast guests have contributed more than $55,000 to local charities. Goodness grows!

These handsome student leaders are managing the Gustavus Alumni Mentor Program that’s growing wild today! Left to right: Ben Reynolds, Sarah Barthell, Andrew Oakes – all Class of 2014.

Last week Monday, we kicked off the 2013/14 Gustavus Alumni Mentoring Program in Minneapolis. What began as an idea we shared many years ago, took shape in 2009 when 12 alumni donated their time to mentor Gustavus students seeking careers in Economics, Management and Business. Their generosity blossomed into more than 130 Gustavus alumni mentoring matches this year. And the best part: the program is growing with student-leadership, under the careful attention of the Gustavus Center for Servant Leadership. Growing is good!

What does all this growth have in common? When good leaders work together with good intentions, great things (growth) are possible!

Good leaders make a habit of mentoring and being mentored because it’s good for our growth.  And we nurture the seeds of goodness with the people we meet along the way.

Please share with me: who’s growing around you today?