farmer looking out of car window, red car

Who’s The Weakest Link In Your Farming Business?

There’s not much you don’t know about farming and you know your farm like the back of your hand. You grew up on the farm and worked hard to help your father back in the day.  He taught you much of what you know, but you also studied hard when the time came and you keep up with all the current changes to farming production methods.  It’s a science, after all.

The Nagging Doubt

You have been a good leader in the past, a good chief executive.  But it is a little lonely at the top sometimes, because at the end of the day, it’s you who needs to make the tough decisions.  Your life, and the lives of your family are directly affected by those decisions, and there was a time when everyone was happy to let you carry on because their needs were being met.  But you wonder.  Has something changed?

The farm is profitable and provides security and lifestyle for your family.  Your son is doing well understudying you on the farm, but he doesn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for the job that you did and like so many these days, he seems to be in a hurry to go places.  And recently, you’ve noticed that your wife is a bit quiet, not quite so enthusiastic about life.

Sure, you’ve made a few mistakes along the way, but who hasn’t?  But it has been your strength, your knowledge and your hard work that has driven the success of the farm and there is no reason to believe that it won’t continue to do so in the future.  But it would be good if your son was as dedicated as you are and your wife didn’t appear so tired half the time.  Still, you will drive on, much the same as you have always done, because it has worked in the past and there is no reason to believe that it won’t continue to do so.

Or will it?  Will doing what you’ve done in the past always work in future?  Have you recognized the changed circumstances in your family?  You brought your son up to be independent and now he is!  And after so many years supporting you on the farm, your wife may be thinking about how your lives together could be enriched in other ways.

The Leadership Quandary

And that’s the thing about leadership.  Good leaders know their people, understand them.  They recognize the changing needs and views on the business of those around them and a family business is no different.  But when you are so busy yourself, working long arduous hours as you have always done – doing it not just for yourself but for others around you, it’s possible to miss the changes.

And then a significant strength becomes a significant weakness.

Is it time for reflection?

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