As many of you know, a favorite “To the Point” theme of late is grit, perseverance and the other intangibles that we want so much from our workforce — and must commit ourselves to bringing out. In my “To the Point” blog on Sept. 11, 2018, I asked for your help. You answered with your emails and web commentary. So, here’s my end of the deal, a FREE just-completed downloadable eGuide — “Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry: 3 Ways to Defeat Complacency.” 

This original compilation consists of the words of your fellow Farm Equipment subscribers, packaged up around 3 thought-provoking questions meant to get employees to fully engage with their companies, customers and work. You can download it for FREE below.

Download Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry TODAY to discover key takeaways from your peers on how to defeat complacency

Read this exclusive report – FREE! Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry: 3 Ways to Defeat Complacency

1. Already a registered user? Don't sign up again, instead click here to go get your eGuide now!

Or...

2. Fill out the quick form on the next screen to access this complimentary download. And we'll also create your free Farm-Equipment.com account.

Another Step Taken

What we’re talking about here (indifference, complacency, etc.) is not just a reporting assignment for us as business editors; it’s a real challenge for our own leadership team just as it is for you.

As a national B2B media company in suburban Milwaukee, we don’t get many ag visitors to our offices. While our editors, salespeople and event teams see subscribers while out on the road, many of our support staff don’t enjoy that privilege. And in covering many Type A personalities like you who are rushing to take care of their customers, we don’t often pause in those interviews to reflect on esoteric topics like purpose and meaning.

To help connect the dots for our own staff on what their efforts mean to our subscribers, we did something different this month. We flew in a subscriber (Doug Anderson) from 700-plus miles away for the day, so he could address the troops at our quarterly employee-wide luncheon (at a local sports bar) on Nov. 8.

And it was not just “any” customer, nor one who’d feel obligated to pat us on the back. Doug once challenged us in a way only the critic can — with a bluntness that was expressed during a smoke break at an industry event.  

But he didn’t stop there. Doug took it upon himself to invite one of our staff to ride with him to better see the real-life challenges and how we could improve our product for him. We took that step, and he — and we — are better off in our professions today as a result. We’re thankful for him, because it brought a chance to show what we were made of.

After eating with us at the restaurant, he returned with us to the office (his first time) and spent the afternoon with us before flying back that same night. Traveling 1,500 miles in 1 day and taking a vacation day to deliver a 15-minute presentation was difficult to dismiss.

What Was Said ...

The staff didn’t know they were getting a guest presenter that day. And he hadn’t been given enough direction to be anything but off-the-cuff, sincere and authentic. No notes; just him talking to our team, including at least 2 dozen who he had never seen before.

Someday, I hope to better share with you what Doug expressed that day. But for now, I’ll share a few thoughts, so you can envision how such an address could make the same impact on your crew.

Doug brought home the meaning and purpose he finds in his work and the role we have in equipping him to pursue that purpose — through technical understanding, best practices and cost-efficiency.

“We, and our customers, are earning our living by the work you are producing,” Doug said as he pointed one by one to the bodies seated at roundtables below the podium. “That’s heavy stuff. I don’t know of a person who hasn’t dreamed about making a positive impact on someone else’s life.”

He encouraged us all to lean in to our work because he is counting on us to do so.

What we do in our Wisconsin offices changes lives in ways we cannot imagine in the busyness of the deadline, he says. He challenges his own employees to try each day to provide better results than the day before.  He reminded us that our customers pay a premium with the expectation that you’ll give your very best each time out.

And in one of many unexpected statements, Doug concluded with “I’ve got a lot of hopes and dreams for myself in this life. But it’s only through your success that I get a chance to achieve mine. You’re the ones that make this all happen. Lives and families depend on it; whole towns and industries depend on it. Please lean in. Because we need you to.”

There was a lot of buzz that followed that day, which started there at the buffet line and continued back at the office. And those stories of Doug’s talk, by my count, have been cited in at least 6 meetings since. “If we can’t reach our people with that kind of message,” said one supervisor of our customer presenter, “nothing probably will.”

This objective of connecting the dots for those that need connecting is not done yet either. In 9 days, we’re loading up the entire company in a bus to see Case IH’s new Experience Center and tractor plant near Racine, Wis. The connection to the greater cause and the shared experience of the importance of our work and how it’s used is the goal of the field trip, but I also know it won’t end there. Shuttering the operation for the better part of the day will still ROI for us, because the opportunity — for our company, our employees and business — is priceless.

Peer Group Advice in a ‘PDF’

I hope you’ll enjoy — and find actionable — the “Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry: 3 Ways to Defeat Complacency.” With the best ideas from 33 sources, I hope it’ll feel like a peer group roundtable on the topic without leaving your desk or needing to make a dozen phone calls yourself. Please be sure to let me (mlessiter@lessitermedia.com) know what you think, and any other ways we can help facilitate thoughts and ideas on best practices to help you succeed.

You’ll find some bulletin board material, and some outside acknowledgement that it’s not unusual to work 60-80 hours when the customer needs it. And that your competitors are doing it too as they try to lure your customer into their camp.

And yes, we here at Lessiter Media got to use this guide ourselves, so thank you. Not only did each member of our leadership team share their own takeaways to apply to our business, but we used Question #3 as a discussion point to share the singular moment when each of us realized our own potential and what we felt at that moment. The stories had several common threads: a new challenge (often one we didn’t think we were ready for), responsibility and the special words of a boss that brought a newfound confidence and empowerment.

Regardless of where you are in your career, I’d encourage you to download and read this eGuide, or at least its “12 Takeaways” summary. You may find the motivation to have the conversation that will lead to another person’s moment.

Happy Thanksgiving. We’re grateful for you, our relationships, and your sharing of your wisdom with us and the industry.

Download Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry TODAY to discover key takeaways from your peers on how to defeat complacency

Read this exclusive report – FREE! Talent Development in the Farm Equipment Industry: 3 Ways to Defeat Complacency

1. Already a registered user? Don't sign up again, instead click here to go get your eGuide now!

Or...

2. Fill out the quick form on the next screen to access this complimentary download. And we'll also create your free Farm-Equipment.com account.