Getting Ahead By Force of Habit

Habits you form for your farm business make a difference to your success.

It is common knowledge that everyone has established habits in their lives. Simple habits such as what we eat, the route we take to work, and how many times a day we check email are the results of repetition over a period of time. More complex habits are the result of our attitude; how we respond when criticized for example. Habits can be very beneficial in creating less stress and making life a little simpler.

Paired with the benefits, however, is the need to reassess our habits from time to time.

Let's talk about habits in the realm of leadership and good business. What if you could harness the power of a habit to propel you forward? The creation of habits should be deliberate. It takes 30 days to form a habit, and the same 30 days to break a habit.

Evaluation is the place to begin. What habits do you currently have? Asking a spouse or trusted friend is a good place to start. At times we move mindlessly through our habits failing to realize how automated we are. Since keeping our daily activities focused on our objectives should be forefront in our minds, we must be intentional about our habits.

What are some reoccurring issues in your operation? Are they the result of poor habits? Maybe you have acquired new ground but you are farming it just like the rest of your farm – same habit, same result.

Perhaps you hired a new employee, but didn't change the way they were trained. We face more market volatility than ever. Do you continue selling grain in the same fashion you did 10 years ago? These are just a few examples to show that habits can become counterproductive to your long term goals. They keep us from looking at new problems with fresh ideas.

We must be engaged managers to be successful in leadership. If we are not careful, much of how time is spent is not planned but simply habit. Be sure the decisions important to your farm aren't just left to thoughtless habits. Better yet, spend 30 days intentionally creating good habits that you're performing on purpose.

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