GFM Network News


Time to Talk: Creating opportunity

Yes, you can talk your farm to a better bottom line

Since farming is all about productivity, most farmers would rather “do” than talk. The old cliché that time is money is never more true than when seed needs to get into the ground or livestock needs to get to market. And yet, some of the most successful farm businesses in the country are those that […] 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[...]
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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?

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

Leader development explained

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[...]
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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

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[...]
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Tom Button is editor of Country Guide magazine.

Editor’s Note: Six ingredients of an ideal farm successor

Several articles in our May/June issue of Country Guide examine what may be the toughest question of all. Does your farm’s next generation have what it’s going to take to succeed in 2050? Fortunately, science can help. I’ve suggested before in this space that as farms continue their likely evolution in asset value and in[...]
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Leadership on the go

What does it take for farmers like Saskatchewan’s Bernie McClean to make themselves into better business leaders?

Growing as a leader takes stretch goals, and it takes finding out about your weaknesses and strengths. It might also take consciously building a network of smart, capable people, and finding mentors and role models to look up to. Plus it takes learning how to really listen, and how to be really heard. And none[...]
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The necessity of conflict

Leadership requires that you do not enter a conflict until invited

It is unavoidable. At many points in life there will be conflict. It is at these times we question the value of conflict and the emotional claim that it can make on us. Is conflict really necessary? Can it be a tool to drive us forward? Let’s start at the beginning. The degree to which[...]
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You’re the ‘leader’?

Even if you farm on your own, these CEO strategies will make your operation more successful, and more sustainable too

No one would really question whether any farmer serving on a commodity or other type of farm board might need some leadership skills. After all, that’s what those farmers are doing, right? They’re being farm leaders. The same goes too for any farmer who manages a large operation with multiple employees. Obviously, if they’ve got[...]
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Intuition: When it’s the right time for change

A leader needs to be prepared to offer opportunities for the next generation

The best leaders today seem to have a keen sense of when to make changes. They know when to share an example of their own struggle and when to motivate the next generation. It’s their gut instinct — that feeling we all get during times of decision-making. It’s the best leaders who know when to[...]
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