Where I grew up in the heart of corn and cattle country, Nebraska, life was all about the weather. Weather was so important that at least one local television station covered weather details before they got to the day’s news or sports.
To me, farming is a reflection of life. Plant. Nurture. Harvest. Rest and make necessary repairs. Repeat. Add unpredictable elements like weather and the volatility of crop and livestock prices to the mix and you’ve got the makings for an extraordinarily challenging—and at times rewarding—way to make a living.
Farming ranks at the top of my list of hero professions, alongside first responders, medical professionals, educators, and members of the armed forces. Farmers are resilient, hard working, and dedicated, plus they know when to push hard and when to take advantage of the opportunity to catch their breath.
Several months ago I was intrigued by a post on LinkedIn that compared growing crops to growing a talented group of engaged team members. The accompanying image was a slide from a PowerPoint presentation titled Think Like a Farmer. My next thought after, “Hmmmm . . . I should steal this for a future blog,” was, “My entire life is based on these same principles of agriculture.”
How blessed am I to have been raised in an environment that embraces the foundational principles of planting, nurturing, and harvesting, constantly preparing for unthinkable—yet inevitable—challenges.
I get the most satisfaction out of watching a living thing grow and flourish. Whether I am coaching a first-time author, planting cucumbers in my garden, outlining my next book, or advising a business executive, I apply the same discipline and finesse.
The best part of my life is not celebrating the accomplishments. My favorite part—and most of my time—is spent strategizing and visioning, then planting the seeds that will germinate two weeks or months or years from now.
Just like a farmer.