Monday, July 29, 2013

If You Are At The Head of the Class You May Be in the Wrong Class

As students we strive to be at the head of the class and we should strive for the highest levels of learning. As adults we should still strive for the highest levels of learning but I'm not sure being at the "head of the class" is always the best strategy. Think about it, if you are the best performer in your work group, you probably aren't challenged and aren't learning as much as you could. Same thing applies to farming. If you are the best of the farmers in your peer group and aren't being challenged to new ideas and better methods then you are going to stagnate quickly.

So what to do?

Seek out a group where you are not the best and the brightest. A group that you can learn from and grow with. Find a group with new and different ideas. Learn how to use the technology better and how to use new resources. Sometimes I think that we need to think small as well as think big. Small farmers are often the best innovators. The big guys just don't have the time.

Read good books. Zig Ziegler said, "If you don't read, you can't lead". He meant that a good leader will always be challenging his mind with the best ideas and literature. Biographies of great leaders are a good place to start. Great speeches in time of war or social transition are also a good source of ideas and learning. Reading doesn't always mean sitting down with a book either. For me the cab of my pick-up and tractor is a class room of listening to books, speeches, and pod casts.

Ask to spend time with someone who has achieved what you would like to achieve in 10 to 15 years. Learn what they do that creates a successful environment. If you want to be a millionaire you need to do what millionaires do. If you want to be a successful organic farmer you need to learn and then master those skills.

What are the goals you want to achieve. What are your goals for your family. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert and there is research to back that up. So what ever you sent your mind to do that sooner you get to it, the sooner you will reach your goals. But just because you have spent 10,000 hours, there is always someone who has spent 30,000 hours or 50,000 hours. There is always someone who learns quicker or who has worked harder.

So next time you are feeling like you are at the head of the class consider what that means and look to expand your horizons, try something new and learn from those that have more experience.

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