GFM Network News


Farm CEO: The complete farm executive

Reading Time: 3 minutes What does the basic mindset of a farm CEO look like? I’m currently using a three-factor model to describe what I think makes a highly effective farm executive. The first is business results. Obviously at the end of the day if we don’t define success and achieve objectives that keep us in business, never mind […] Read more

A business whose culture doesn’t support the values of its employees will ultimately struggle.

Farm CEO: Culture matters

Are you paying attention to the culture of your farm or farm business?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why should we care about the culture of our business? Culture captures the essence of what makes a business tick, yet it is poorly understood. Culture has reached cliché status as a management concept, and that’s regrettable because understanding what culture really is, its connection to leadership, how it is created and how it has […] Read more


Developing a CEO mindset and the skills needed to serve that mindset are essential if Canadian farms are to succeed.

Become a farm CEO: Why make the shift?

Executive-level behaviour is good for both the farm and farmer

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s time that farmers develop beyond being the world-class farm managers they are today. That’s the vibe I’m getting from clients, program participants and industry professionals. The conversation around what abilities Canadian farmers need to develop, and how they should acquire them, is already underway. If a farmer is successfully operating his or her business, […] Read more

What action do you take when some people in your organization are underperforming, and those who can are leaving?

Leader development versus the quick fix

Management without leadership is like tightening a nut with no wrench on the bolt head

Reading Time: 4 minutes Every once in awhile I have a casual conversation that goes like this: “Leadership is nice (guess what comes next), but I have real problems right now, and I have to do something; I don’t have time for leader development, I’m busy.” In my view, we are all busy, but this sentiment is the verbal […] Read more


A successful partnership is one that shares in the achievements of whatever the individuals are jointly involved in.

Leader effectiveness meets the leader

Good leadership points you in the direction of building a successful business

Reading Time: 3 minutes I want to share what I’m noticing in small business these days in terms of leadership, and what I say to those who ask about leader effectiveness. First, I also want to say that I do not share client stories even with the names redacted. Agriculture is just too small, and my work with leaders […] Read more

Highly effective leaders are often described as seeing what few others see.

Characteristics of highly effective leadership

Part two in a series on leadership

Reading Time: 4 minutes In my last article I described six characteristics of highly effective leaders. This article concludes this series and describes leader characteristics that can be expressed only by adequately possessing the previous six attributes. Here goes: Highly effective leaders are capable of making bold decisions and abandoning the past if necessary This is the next step […] Read more


Six traits of highly effective leadership

If we want to generate a higher return on investment (ROI) on our leadership, describing how leadership can be developed and characterizing why leadership is effective are all well and good, but what do highly effective leaders do? How do they behave? What fundamental abilities do they possess that enable them to achieve the kind[...]
Read more

Successful leadership means not only managing day-to-day work on the farm, it’s also being accountable for long- and short-term business results as well.

Leader effectiveness deconstructed

Leadership matters most in tough times ... Will we have what it takes when we need it most?

Reading Time: 3 minutes In my last article I explored the important components of leader development that can improve leader effectiveness. Some who read that article might have thought, “I’m already a good leader.” Or, “I don’t have many employees — it’s mostly family, so leadership doesn’t really apply.” Wrong. Studies have consistently found that leaders who think they[...]
Read more


When people know how to lead better, they likely will.

Leader development explained

Reading Time: 3 minutes In my last article I reported that leadership has been shown to account for 37.6 per cent of the variability in business performance. I commented that small business leaders haven’t tapped this personal competitive advantage to achieve more with the resources they already have. But as we know, it is one thing to champion the[...]
Read more

Leadership is a necessary skill that can be developed, offering a competitive advantage for your operation.

The difference maker: on-farm leadership

On-farm leadership is the X-factor that can be quantified and developed into competitive advantage

Reading Time: 4 minutes Leadership is the overlooked skill set that can explain why some farms move forward and grow, overcoming difficult periods to successfully transition from one generation to the next. It can also explain why some others don’t. In recent decades, research into the fields of leadership, adult development and neuro-science have been converging. We now know[...]
Read more