Leadership Journey, Lessons from the Farm

Lessons from the Farm: Teaching on the Go

Share this:
Share

I’ve been going through a theme for the first time. I’m calling these posts “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the first post here.

Just a little background: I grew up working on my Dad’s farm. As I’ve grown older and spent more time away, there are few leadership principles I have realized along the way.

My dad knew how to do everything. Me? Not so much. That meant a lot of on-the-job training. How do you teach an 8 year old how to run an impact wrench? You show him. And you show him again. And you show him again. Right-in, Tighten (a close cousin to righty-tighty, lefty-loosey).

How do you teach a teenager how to “drive” cattle? By talking through the strategy and then letting them learn how to follow the strategy.

The list goes on and on.

But more than what I was taught, I remember how I was taught: in the moment, sometimes being shown how, sometimes being told, usually realizing after the fact I had more to learn.

The same is true today. No matter how badly I want, training does not happen because I think it should. Training happens on a case by case basis, and the best lessons are usually learned after the freedom to make mistakes.

I never learned the best way to change sweeps on a plow by playing with dirt clods–I had to have the tool in my hand and the job in front of me. Often, the best way to lead is to give someone the tools and knowledge they need, and let them go.

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

Be the First to comment. Read More
Leadership Journey, Lessons from the Farm

Lessons from the Farm: Training With A Purpose

Share this:
Share

So, I decided to do a theme for the first time. I’m going to call these next few posts “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the first post here.

Just a little background: I grew up working on my Dad’s farm. As I’ve grown older and spent more time away, there are few leadership principles I have realized along the way.

One thing I find intriguing is the equipping of workers that happens on the farm. My dad taught me how to drive a tractor at an early age. Why? Because it was more efficient to have two tractors going than one. We could ride together, and we did when I was very young, but there came a time where the next step was for me to learn how to drive.

I hope this doesn’t sound cold and calculated, but it’s true. When I moved back and spent a few years farming, we would bring new people in to work and they needed to be able to do things on their own.

You never saw my dad running alongside a tractor shouting instructions. Instead, he would equip and let go. There were times where his knowledge was needed to troubleshoot problems, and often the work might have been a little messier than if he had done it himself, but a farm cannot operate efficiently with a micromanager.

Just like on the farm, we need to find ways to equip people and let go. This looks different in every situation, but the principle is always there. When we let go, things will likely get messy or not be done the way we would do them, but an organization cannot operate efficiently with a micromanager.

Who do you need to equip and let go today?

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

One comment Read More
Leadership Journey, Lessons from the Farm

Lessons from the Farm: Perspective

perspective
Share this:
Share

From 2009 to 2012 I worked for my dad farming and ranching. I was bivocational, farming most of the week and serving a church the rest. Then, in 2012 I moved my family to Bronte where we have been serving ever since.

I remember early on, after coming back to full time ministry, having a particularly rough day with issues at the church, when my brother (who also works with my dad) sent me a picture that trumped any problem I thought I had.

They were moving a truckload of cattle through a pasture and went over a cattle guard. After clearing the guard, the back axle fell off the trailer. A trailer loaded with about 60,000 lbs of cattle. The 18-wheeler was now a 12-wheeler and stranded in a pasture.

Sometimes, perspective is what a leader really needs. Things may not be as bad as you think they are. Sometimes, they are.

For me, that day, my problems were less significant than losing an axle, and I was grateful.

 

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

 

2 comments Read More
Leadership Journey

Learn to Let Go

Learning to Let Go
Share this:
Share

Leadership development is a growth process. Sometimes, leadership development is a glacially slow growth process.

One thing I have learned along the way (and I’m quite certain the people most responsible for my own leadership development experienced the same thing), sometimes letting go is the best move.

Not letting go and giving up.

Not letting go and walking away.

Not letting go and waiting for failure.

Let go and trust. Trust that growth can happen. Trust that mistakes made can lead to lessons learned. Trust the end result will be worth the effort.

Along the way, in order for you to have grown, someone had to trust you. Are you grateful for those opportunities? Are you ready to return the favor?

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

2 comments Read More
Leadership Journey

Big Change Takes Time to Chew

leading change, big change takes time to chew
Share this:
Share

I fancy myself a thinker. I enjoy looking at situations and dreaming up next steps. As such, I spend a large chunk of my time thinking and considering options.

Along the way, I’ve learned an important leadership principal:

big change takes time to chew

Just because I’ve spent countless hours thinking about a change I want to lead, does not mean the people around me and, more importantly, those from whom I need support in the change, have spent countless hours thinking about the change.

In fact, often times, I’m suggesting a change they may have never considered.

When I include other people in the planning and thinking process, three things happen:

They feel like part of the decision, because they are

When someone feels free to offer opposing views in a supportive way, solutions are more easily sought out and pursued.

They get to work through their hesitations

I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have initially bristled at a decision made by someone above me, only to realize the validity a little time later (sometimes hours, sometimes a few days).

They take ownership of the new direction

Decisions are implemented much more fluidly when leadership is on the same page. One body moving in the same direction proves more effective than chaos.

One Final Disclosure

I am not saying you let the people around you determine the direction, but instead you bring them to the table and treat them like their thoughts and opinions matter, because they do.

I am far from the world’s best at this, and still regularly make mistakes, BUT I do know enough to say: do not let the people around you choke on the big changes, because big change takes time to chew.

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

Be the First to comment. Read More
WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Get 3QL in your Inbox

Please fill in the form and submit to subscribe and make it easier to learn to expand your leadership influence!

%d bloggers like this: