Many years ago when I heard the phrase, "There is nothing like a good rain to make a smart farmer," it referenced the financial industry within which I was working. Interest rates had undergone a slow steady decline for nearly a decade.
There were businesses that made a lot of money due to the decline in those rates and, quite frankly, not everyone had to be a good businessperson to be successful.
Although there is still some truth around the fact that outside influences can result in significant company success no matter its leadership, I now understand that, even in such circumstances, keen leadership must be the role we seek.
Top leaders in an ever-increasing environment can allow themselves to become complacent and miss the opportunity to pursue something much greater. (See Luke 9:12). This can be an opportunity to aggressively pursue excellence with a forward-looking frame of mind that can result in achievements never thought possible in the outset. (See Luke 9:16-17).
As top leaders, we must plan and pursue the company's written goals and objectives. However, as the market adjusts and those goals are either met or varied, we must positively react in real time. The nimble and well-positioned company can be a leading example in the industry and act under the influence of stewardship and purpose. This is done not by some fortunate "rainfall," but instead by solid preparation of the leader(s) and the team.
The description of "success," of course, differs with as many leaders as may try to define it. Some describe a successful company as simply being profitable, or if not profitable, meeting this quarter's expectations and putting the company in a position to advance toward its goals.
I would suggest that we, as market leaders, take a different approach to the "good rain" as stated in the title phrase. ... Might we consider developing ourselves into the "smart farmer" first, then praying for rain.
Join me next week, when I share some insight into: "How to develop ourselves into the mindset of a 'smart farmer.'"
"He who had received five talents came and brought the other five talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted to me five talents. Look, I have gained five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, you good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter the joy of your master.'" (Matt. 25:20-21).
Jeffrey Smith, a business consultant, is a national speaker and writes on the topic of leadership. His experience as president & CEO of a publicly-traded financial company has given him a strong foundation from which to share.
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