Podcast: Cut the cost of drama with Cy Wakeman

In the latest episode of Modern Farm Business™ podcast, we feature a conversation with guest Cy Wakeman. Cy is a highly accomplished leadership expert, bestselling author, keynote speaker, business consultant and global thought leader who is best known for her concept of “reality-based leadership.” Her latest book, No Ego, presents a modern approach to leadership which helps to diffuse workplace drama and create a culture of accountability, innovation and cooperation by eliminating ego-driven leadership.

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For less frustrating communication—confirm, don't assume

Communication can be challenging, and farm operations are no exception to that rule. When the pressure is on to get things done on the farm, that’s when communication needs to be running smoothly, but that’s also when it can tend to break down the most. Maybe time is running short and we think we’ve explained something in a crystal clear way to an employee, yet find out later that they misunderstood us in some way. It can be frustrating to feel like you’ve explained something multiple times but the message still doesn’t seem to be getting through.

In his latest Finance First piece, Darren Frye takes on communication with less frustration. Read it on his blog at FarmFutures.com.

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Is your farm attracting the right employees?

The people working on your farm make a big difference. The way your leadership team handles poor performance and coaching is just as important. Water Street Solutions CEO Darren Frye writes about human resources issues which farm leaders face and how they can impact the bottom line of your operation if not properly addressed.

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Focus on the farm's opportunities

Data from a recent Farm Futures survey revealed that the current operating environment is presenting challenges to farmers everywhere. The executive editor Mike Wilson pointed out that in a blog post about the survey that there appears to be a very large range in terms of how farmers are facing challenges, which he summed up as, "One man's roadblock is another man's opportunity."

Darren Frye built on this topic in his own blog post at Farm Futures, showing readers how to "flip the script" and find the mindset that helps us concentrate on proactive, opportunity-driven motivations instead of living our lives with a "roadblock" mentality of victim thinking. Read the piece only on Finance First at FarmFutures.com.

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Podcast: Compensation dynamics on the farm

Working with family and partners in business can lead to questions about the right approach to compensation. Larry Custer, Account Manager with Water Street Solutions, joins Dean to share best practices about setting the stage for good expectations with partners and employees.

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Three areas of focus to build a professional operation

At some point, most farmers make the decision to push their farm to the next level. Often, when we think about other area farms which encompass what that means for us, their level of professionalism is admirable. Having a reputation of being a professional operation can have many benefits in the community and in your business relationships.

In his latest Finance First post at FarmFutures.com, Darren Frye covers three ways to build a reputation of professionalism on your farm. Click the link to read the article.

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Podcast: "It's complicated." Leading with Systems Thinking

The brain tends to oversimplify when it comes to interpreting causes of our successes and failures; they're really brought about through various systems rather than one factor. It's vital that we recognize this as leaders, because effective leading requires a clear understanding of the world around us and the problems we have to address.

In this episode of Modern Farm Business™ podcast, host Dean Heffta explores how to lead using Systems Thinking.

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Talk with your banker about where you stand

Darren Frye writes about the importance of open, frequent communication with stakeholders in your operation—and in particular, two key metrics a farmer can utilize to help ease their banker’s mind. Take a look at what up-to-date net worth and working capital figures can do to help a farmer diagnose their operation’s financial health.

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Is the farm's future clear or cloudy?

A farm CEO is responsible for guiding the operation toward its goals, defining its priorities, and designing and executing the plans needed to reach those goals by taking care of the farm's priorities. Sometimes the farm's future isn't as clear as we'd like. You might get caught up between juggling financial goals, growth goals, production targets and leadership development in the succeeding generation.

Darren Frye wrote at FarmFutures.com about the incredible benefits of having a third-party advisor work alongside you in your operation. Read all about it in his latest Finance First column.

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Podcast: Are we ever really "too busy"?

"I'm too busy."
"I don’t have time."
"I just couldn’t get to it."
"I’m really swamped right now."
This week, Dean Heffta takes a look at how we make time for what matters, breaking down our mindset when it comes to investing energy as a leader.

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Make projections early, update often for best results

Planting season can be a difficult, anxious time. Every farmer wonders how their year is going to turn out, and it all begins before the crop is even in the ground. Solidifying financial projections for the year can help alleviate some of that anxiety—and the earlier, the better. Once you have a reasonable projection assembled, you are in possession of a malleable roadmap which can guide you through the crop year—helping you stay on course by making adjustments and taking detours as roadblocks pop up throughout the season.

In his Finance First column, Darren Frye recently explored this idea to help get farmers on the road to success in 2018. Read it at FarmFutures.com.

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Podcast #42: Get positive Return On Integrity with John Blumberg

John G. Blumberg has always found fulfillment in helping others achieve a meaningful success. In 1996, he left an 18-year career with Arthur Andersen that had taken him from CPA to helping lead Andersen’s Recruiting Worldwide. Since then, he’s concentrated on helping others to become better leaders through his speaking engagements, training programs and books. 

John has spoken to audiences in 10 countries on 3 continents. He holds the National Speakers Association’s highest earned designation of Certified Speaking Professional—a recognition held by fewer than 10% of the members of the International Speakers Federation.

He is the author of Silent Alarm: A Parable of Hope for Busy Professionals and GOOD to the CORE: Building Value with Values. He joins Dean this week to discuss insights from his work and his newest book, Return on Integrity: The New Definition of ROI and Why Leaders Need to Know It.

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Break the rushing habit

As spring rears its head, farmers across the nation have begun weighing the urgent against the important, and the season's demands against their own goals for the year. Sometimes that means a reconciliation between doing things quickly and doing what's right to raise the best possible crop.

In this piece from Corn + Soybean Digest from a few years back, Dean Heffta explores some systems successful farmers use to help manage potentially detrimental habits they may have acquired over the years, providing checks which help refocus a leader on the goals of the operation.

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Prepare next generation leaders as part of your legacy

We all want to leave a legacy that will continue capitalizing on the work we've accomplished during our lifetime. One essential piece of seeing that plan through is to make sure whoever is on deck to lead the farm is prepared to take the wheel with confidence.

In his Finance First column, Water Street Solutions CEO Darren Frye recently touched on this subject, giving current farm leaders some key steps to help prepare the next generation of leadership to take the reins. Read this informative, helpful piece—and more—in full at FarmFutures.com.

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Podcasts 40 & 41: Modern Farm Business™

Have you been keeping up on the latest Modern Farm Business™ podcasts? Each week we release informative and thought-provoking episodes, and if you're not subscribed through Apple Podcasts or another podcast network, you might miss them. Here's a look at the last couple of weeks on Modern Farm Business:

In episode 40, Dean shares tools to overcome procrastination with the help of Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as Brian Tracy's book Eat That Frog!

In episode 41, Dean concentrates on the impact of communication, inspired by Dr. Taibi Kahler's groundbreaking Process Communication Model.

Never miss another episode! Visit www.modernfarmbusiness.com or subscribe in your favorite podcast app!

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Pave the way to your biggest goals

As the farm leader, it's a lot of responsibility to keep the operation moving toward your vision for the future. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially if you feel like you're shouldering the burden on your own. It's a good idea to not only set long-term goals for the farm, but to share them with everyone else on the farm.

In his latest Finance First column, Water Street CEO Darren Frye gives some ideas to help you and your operation achieve those goals by chipping away at smaller goals. Read this article and more at FarmFutures.com.

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Podcast #39: More of what you want

It’s easy to focus on the things we don’t want in life and business. We don’t want to run out of money. We don’t want our employees getting hurt. We don’t want the neighbor driving through our field. You get the picture. But in practice, diligent focus on what we do want helps us to better create thinking and action that aligns with achieving our goals. In this episode of Modern Farm Business™, Dean uses some practical farming examples to apply this proactive mindset.

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Fill your farm's roster with team players

What would your farm be like if it were filled with employees who want to see it succeed? Think about the ideal attributes of those employees—the qualities and behaviors that would make your operation run like a well-oiled machine. What comes to mind?

In this article from Water Street Solutions' Business Essentials series, we explore some of author and leadership expert Patrick Lencioni's insight into the ideal team player, and apply it to the farming environment.

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Handle bookkeeping before planting hits

Planting season is approaching, and with it the hustle and bustle of springtime on the farm. A farmer's mind is no doubt turning toward preparation for spring at this time, but one part of prep for field time is finalizing your office time and getting the books in order.

It's easy to fall behind in the books during these busy seasons. Getting the business side running smoothly now will help alleviate headaches in that area when farm leaders will be scurrying as it is to find planting windows between the rains and complete all the other typical seasonal tasks this spring.

Darren Frye, in his latest Finance First post, brings you some questions to ask yourself and assess whether your operation's books are ready for the spring. You can read all about it at FarmFutures.com.

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