Imagine for a minute that you’re a dentist and you own a one-person business…
You genuinely love what you do.
You spend your days cleaning the teeth of your patients.
Your schedule is jam-packed and you feel a real sense of accomplishment after a hard day’s work.
Sounds pretty good, right?
But here’s my question…
While you’re cleaning teeth and working IN the business…who’s working ON the business?
Who’s managing the admin and paperwork?
Who’s searching for new growth opportunities?
What’s the contingency plan if you get sick and can’t clean teeth anymore?
You can’t possibly have time to do all that important business-building work if you’re cleaning teeth all day.
It’s the same on the farm.
The seventh step of the TOP Producers Model is Promote Team, finding great people to run the farm for you. This is the real step that takes you from being a farmer to a farming business owner.
This is a big, big, BIG identity shift! I know it’s not easy.
But I can tell you that the handful of our farmers who have embraced this shift are the most successful ones in our community.
Because without the Promote Team step, you’ll never have real time- and financial-freedom on the farm.
The fundamental skill required in Promote Team is leadership. And to be an effective leader, you need to master three key components:
1. Create predictability and certainty with systems
The way to create a sense of predictability and certainty on your farm is through systems.
It’s essential to build systems to take all the things that you know about running your farm and document them in simple step-by-step processes that someone else can follow.
A great example here is McDonald’s…
Did you know McDonald’s have a system to keep their toilets clean? I learnt this at a conference recently…
Every three hours in McDonald’s, there’s a little alarm that goes off. An employee grabs a checklist and goes around cleaning the bathroom.
Clean the mirrors? Tick.
Wash the floor? Tick.
Empty the bins? Tick.
When the checklist is completed, the supervisor comes in to check their work. And because the employee is following a step-by-step checklist, it’s highly likely it’s been done right.
The key is, it’s not left to chance. It’s a system that ensures that bathrooms are kept tidy.
Systems can do the same thing for your farm.
For most farmers, everything lives in their heads. But in order to have your team members be successful, you MUST create systems for them to follow first.
2. Hire, train, and empower the right people
Once you’ve created clear systems throughout your farming operation, it’s time to hire the right people to run those systems.
This is where a lot of farmers struggle…
What often happens is that a farmer will find someone at their local pub. He’ll put that person on, dump on them whatever he needs, and that poor new hire goes out not really understanding what they need to do.
Because there are no systems, no protocol, no job description, that person ends up making a number of mistakes. The farm owner ends up fixing all those mistakes, tripling his stress. And then he sacks them and goes back to being the sole operator, saying it was all too hard.
Instead, when you master the art of hiring and communication, you’ll find, train, and manage a strong team that does the work exceptionally well.
It starts with knowing how to recruit well and find the best people for the job.
RELATED PODCAST: How to Hire a GUN Worker
Here are a few things you’ll need to master to be a strong team leader:
You start by clearly defining job ads and job descriptions, so potential employees will know what’s expected of them.
You also need a solid system to determine if applicants are the right people for the job. The person you’re hiring needs to get the job (understand what it entails,) want the job (feel passion and excitement,) and have the capacity to do the job (skills). They also need to be aligned with your values.
Once you’ve hired the right person, you need a clear Induction System to welcome them to your team. You’ll need to train them to understand your systems and processes so they’re capable of doing the work.
In addition to all that, there’s a second layer to this as well…
Once you’ve hired and trained the right people…how do you empower team members to do the job well?
It’s important to learn how to communicate effectively and provide feedback to continue to improve your new team member’s performance.
Good communication is a key skill of an effective leader. Your farm cannot thrive without it.
3. Trust and let go
I learnt something really interesting in the Platinum Mastermind program recently…
I asked this question to our community of farmers:
How many of you trust that someone else can do a job better than you?
Two hands went up…out of 150 people.
…Which shows me that there’s a real trust issue within the farming community.
Here’s why that matters so much…
BOTH of the people who raised their hands to say they trusted others run freedom farms. They’ve actually achieved the dream many of the other farmers envision for their lives.
That’s because you can’t build a farm that runs without you unless you trust others to do their jobs well.
Now, I’m not saying it’s easy…
If you’re like most of the farmers in our community, you’ve been brought up to think that no one can do a job better than you. So many farmers are petrified to let go because they don’t think anyone else will work as hard.
And I want you to know that’s simply not true.
But you have to CHOOSE to trust them.
You have to make the decision to trust for the greater good of the organisation…because it’s not good for the farm if you’re the only person who can do the jobs. That’s not a healthy business.
If you want to enjoy a sense of freedom on the farm, you need to step back, let go, and TRUST that your systems and team will keep the business moving.
The key takeaway about effective leadership?
The most successful business owners lead from the back of the ship, not the front.
Think about the captain standing up — he’s not the one being busy…but the one overviewing and ensuring everyone’s doing their job.
When you grow a strong team, you’re able to really step back. This will give you a new layer of energy and clarity because you’re not busy anymore.
That’s when the REAL opportunities start flowing your way…
When you’re no longer busy on the farm, you’re now in a position to do what we call Deal Flow…which is going out to look for opportunities and expand your operation. (We’ll dig deeper into those opportunities next week on the blog.)
At the end of the day, we can either live to work…or work to live. You have the ability to create space and enjoy your life while running your farm. And it starts by becoming an effective team leader of your farming business.
Leadership is a never-ending education. Get the right support.
From creating systems, recruiting team members, and being an effective communicator, becoming a strong leader is challenging. That’s why the Platinum Mastermind community is such a game-changer.
You’ll be surrounded by business and farming mentors, plus other successful farmers who have been where you are. You’ll get advice from people who know what it’s like and have learned what works (and what doesn’t) to help you jump three steps ahead in your leadership journey.