With 2024 fast approaching, our team is taking some time to pause and reflect as we think about our goals and strategies for the next business cycle. The winter months are a great time to revisit our business plan and to go forward, we must look back.

So, on that note, I asked our key team members to reflect on moments or sayings throughout their career that have inspired change, a mental shift or a game-changing concept that has changed the way we do business at HGV. And, interestingly, they sometimes come from who and when you least expect.

Here are five concepts from my team that have become “game changers” on the farm:

3+3=6, 2+4=6, 1+5=6  


“We had an employee who would tell us this all the time when we would suggest an alternative way to do the task he was in the process of completing. Unless we want to micro-manage every task to ensure it’s done as we would do it, we have to learn to let people do it their way as long as we get the desired outcome. I learned from this employee that, as a leader, you must overcome the urge to micro-manage if you want to scale your business.” – Jeff Warkentin 

Bring a Shovel 

“This was the moment I realized I was no longer an employee and was now a leader on the Hebert Group team. The actual quote was, “ If you are going to bring dead cats, bring a shovel.” It’s the idea that if you are going to identify issues or concerns, make sure you come with solutions for the group as well. Too often employees rely on complaining or can easily come up with things that are going wrong.  The quote opens free thought and lets individuals provide thoughtful solutions before bringing up the issue.” – Evan Shout 

Managing people would be a great job if it wasn’t for the people

“I had a boss who used this line a lot. It was obvious that he didn’t enjoy his job and really should have been in a position that allowed him to work alone most of the time. Some people seek management positions because they associate it with prestige and a higher salary. This quote had a huge impact on me because it helped me decide I did want to pursue a career in management so I could build and lead a successful team.” – Jeff  


The Gap and The Gain

This is a popular one on our team and it has had a huge impact on all of us. The Gap and The Gain is a book by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. It refers to the idea that if we’re chasing perfection, we’ll never get there – that’s when you’re in the gap. But, when we measure ourselves against our previous selves, we can see how far we’ve come – that’s what Sullivan refers to as “the gain.” This is particularly important for entrepreneurs and management because we are always moving the goalposts and can tend to feel like we’re not getting anywhere. At certain times in your career, or in farming, you need to stop and look back at how far you have come. Then celebrate the wins as you constantly move the goalposts further out. For our team this became apparent when we started using the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System); it requires that you break down long-term goals into short manageable periods, quarterly for us. This way you always get to see the achievements throughout the year and you are not waiting for a decade before you identify how far you have come. – Evan

If you build it, they will come 

“This was a constant message that Kristjan provided when I started at Hebert Group regarding opportunities. If we focused on what we were good at on both the farm and the consulting business, opportunities would approach us, and we would not have to go looking. Our consulting business was built on zero sales or marketing and most of Farmer Coach was industry and producers coming to us. We don’t pay for marketing or leads for either of these businesses, but we do invest in public relations and social media. Even when it comes to land expansion, we have people approaching us because we’ve established a reputation as great operators, with a strong brand and high level of financial acumen. “ – Evan

One of the best things you can do as a leader is to share these concepts with your team. Don’t keep the gems you’ve learned to yourself. When leaders can admit they’ve made mistakes, learned, and grown from them, they’ll inspire your team to do the same.

We’ve got a few more to share with you in Part Two of our next blog.


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