Water Street Solutions’ CEO Darren Frye writes a blog for Farm Futures titled “Finance First.” This week he brings us an entry about selecting leadership traits to emulate and other resources to consult when searching for your own leadership style.Read More
Most producers are great at concentrating on the production side of agriculture, and that's good, because this is typically the thing farmers enjoy—focusing on day-to-day operations and getting the crop planted and harvested. This is what author Michael Gerber would refer to as the Technician mindset. In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Gerber explores the three mindsets of business owners: Technician, Manager and Entrepreneur. We've found that this mindset model translates very well to the world of farming, because a farm is, after all, a business.
Water Street Solutions Director Dean Heffta once discussed with KRVN’s Dewey Nelson how Gerber's model can be applied to the farm, and how transcending the technician role can only work for the benefit of an operation as the leader learns to think "bigger picture" and explore new opportunities to grow and improve the business as well as the people they trust to staff it.Read More
This week on Modern Farm Business® podcast, Dean welcomes Jolene Brown, CSP, CSAE. A walking, talking champion for the people of agriculture and the family-owned business, Jolene shares her credibility, authenticity, humor, and wisdom with audiences worldwide through her writing, keynotes, and workshops. Herself being a farmer from West Branch, Iowa, Jolene is proud to use her platform to celebrate the people of agriculture and to share leading-edge best practices with the power to increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind.Read More
Every farm should be looking at certain basic financial metrics, but in reality, each one of those operations should also be monitoring a tailored set of metrics specific to their own goals. Metrics give us the ability to discover aspects of our business that might otherwise remain invisible.
In this week’s blog post on FarmFutures.com, Darren Frye provides insight into working with metrics to help a farm achieve its vision.Read More
In this piece originally published at FarmFutures.com, Water Street Solutions CEO Darren Frye discusses a major competitive advantage for any farm: creating a process for dealing properly with new ideas on the farm. Simply shooting down an idea because it comes from the younger generation is not a constructive process. Every idea should be evaluated for its potential, and nobody should feel like their ideas are summarily dismissed without the least bit of consideration.Read More
New this week on Modern Farm Business: For success in work and life, measure what you want more of. What we focus on is what we can grow, but we have to maintain perspective or risk dropping the ball elsewhere.Read More
Today's farm leader spends more time functioning as the CEO of their operation than as a laborer. There are a lot of responsibilities to manage: business planning, finances, creating a vision and leading the team...the list goes on. That means a leader needs a lot of varied skills, and sometimes it means acquiring new skills.
When a leader spends time developing new skills, he or she is setting a standard and exemplifying how learning ties into leadership for the next generation. Solid leadership skills are vital for the success of the farm's next generation, and yesterday was the best day to get started on that generation's preparation to lead. It's OK, though, if you didn't start yesterday—today is still a great time to start gearing up the next generation to lead.Read More
In this piece originally published in Corn + Soybean Digest, Dean Heffta reminds us to utilize our vendors not merely for the goods they supply, but to tap into their expertise and experience and use them as a learning resource for increasing value for your operation.Read More
If you’ve used an area-based crop protection plan in the past to protect your crop risk, there’s a new kid on the block this year you might be interested in—MPP, or Margin Protection Plan. Click to learn more about this unique plan available to farmers for their 2019 crops.Read More
When we’re kids, we constantly try new things—and we’re frequently really bad at them. Face it, toddlers are a mess: babbling nonsense, running into things, falling over…But they keep at it, we encourage them, and before long they can spit out comprehensible sentences and sprint across the room with no problem. Doing poorly at first is what taught them how to improve.
Somewhere along the way as we grow, though, we get the idea that doing poorly makes us look foolish or incompetent, and we become resistant to taking chances on learning new skills or ways to do things. In this episode of Modern Farm Business® podcast, Dean abolishes that way of thinking, reminding us that doing poorly is part of growth and improvement.Read More
As farmers prepare their equipment, procedures and people for the busy harvest season just around the corner, your thoughts will probably begin meandering toward how the whole thing is going to turn out. Before the combines even begin rolling, there's a nervous excitement over those final results.
Water Street CEO Darren Frye says there's one more thing to get prepped before heading into harvest—something that might not be at the top of your list right now, but is very important nonetheless: your business projections. Learn why that's so important going into harvest by reading his latest piece at FarmFutures.com.Read More
Dean is joined this week on Modern Farm Business® podcast by acclaimed international bestselling author of The Fred Factor and The Potential Principle—leadership and teamwork expert Mark Sanborn. They discuss keys to maintaining the passion for what you do in work and life, and achieving greater productivity while developing your leadership skills.Read More
They say old habits die hard. When it's on the farm, old habits could be what's running things, even though the rest of world has moved on. In this week's Finance First blog, Darren Frye explains why the old explanation of "That's just the way we do it around here" is not only insufficient reasoning to continue doing something a certain way—but also potentially damaging to the operation.
Read it at FarmFutures.comRead More
"It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know that just ain't so." Though it's been credited to Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Yogi Berra and probably countless others, nobody seems to know who actually originated that saying. Nevertheless, it certainly doesn't make it any less true: If we don't evolve and learn with our changing world, we will one day find that many of the things we know to be true at this point in time...are no longer true in the future. In this week's Modern Farm Business® podcast, Dean suggests ways to challenge our established notions and beliefs in order to grow as leaders.
Click to listen, or find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn or wherever you get your podcasts.Read More
A big determinant of our success in work and life is what we do habitually. When one considers the idea of "habits," the mind tends to immediately associate it with getting rid of negative habits. We can, however, use habitual behavior constructively by building new, positive habits.
In this week's Finance First blog at Farm Futures, Darren Frye encourages readers to cultivate good habits which help foster success in a farming operation.Read More
Water Street Solutions has been working with farmers across the Midwest since 1994. We’ve had the chance to observe many farming operations from the inside and get an understanding of what builds success in this world of agriculture. Based on the company’s experience over the past two decades, CEO Darren Frye has identified a list of seven differentiators for building a successful farming business.
Over the last few weeks, he's identified the first four differentiators. Click here to read the conclusion of this three-part series, reprinted with permission from Illinois AgriNews.Read More
A leader is responsible for big decisions—and they come all too frequently in the "heat of the moment." It's important for leaders to keep their cool when the pressure is on, managing their emotions and maintaining perspective on the issue at hand. That perspective is key—because in the same way as a winning lottery ticket can bring its share of woes, sometimes what appears on the surface to be an unfortunate incident can actually lead to positive outcomes.Read More
Like the captain of a ship, a farm leader needs to be always on guard for changing conditions, reacting and also being proactive to alter the ship’s course as needed—always staying on track for its goal. In this piece from a previous version of our Smart Series newsletter, Water Street Solutions’ CEO Darren Frye enumerates the benefits of having a forward-looking leadership style when you’re at the helm of a farming operation.
Get more stories like this from our 4x-yearly Smart Series newsletter. Subscribe at waterstreetconsulting.com/smartseriesRead More
Farmers frequently tell Water Street Solutions advisors that they feel like a lot of their typical day is spent "putting out fires," or tending to urgent matters that pop up unannounced. The other "go-to" mode of operation we see in clients is the farm leader who sticks to a schedule each day—a schedule which is a series of tasks intent on moving the farm toward its overarching goals.
A leader's focus is very important for maintaining the direction of the business. If a leader is occupying all of his or her time concentrating on the urgent, they are probably missing opportunities to truly focus their energy in a productive way. Water Street CEO Darren Frye has some tips to help farm leaders focus on the important, rather than spending all their time putting out fires. Check it out in Darren's weekly Finance First column at Farm Futures.Read More
Water Street Solutions has been working with farmers across the Midwest since 1994. We’ve had the chance to observe many farming operations from the inside and get an understanding of what builds success in this world of agriculture. Based on the company’s experience over the past two decades, CEO Darren Frye has identified a list of seven differentiators for building a successful farming business.Read More