Bill has just outlined three leading theories of leadership in our society today. Though none was developed in the agricultural context, each contains valuable insights for us. Most important, in my judgment, are the following three ingredients.
Vision: Imagining the future as our population increases and access to farm ground and natural resources decreases will prove challenging. Leaders who show capabilities in not just articulating vision but also in cultivating collaboration and communication will lead our industry into the future.
People Skills: Every business, regardless of industry, is a “people business” first. And while we see the trend toward artificial intelligence increasing every day, agriculture still relies heavily on people. Leveraging the transformational leadership approach to move people toward a shared vision will become increasingly important. The ability to connect your family business story with the experiences people are seeking will be essential.
Adaptive Nature: People are not going away and neither is technology. Automation has slowly crept into agriculture, and will only increase. While this notion is sometimes met with resistance, the oil field provides a unique and relatable case study on how automation creates new jobs for current employees, often setting the stage for increased profitability through decreased reliance on outside vendors. The ability to adapt to new technology and shift team members to higher-value work is just another key to navigating the next generation of agribusiness.
As the Ag Progress team interacts with family businesses across the United States, we have the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you who embody the strong leadership values that will continue to move agriculture forward. In the next piece, Lance introduces us to specific examples of how leadership is practiced in agriculture.