Russell GeorgeWhen I first visited the Lessiter Media offices in late 2007, I left with two critical collaborations that have grown over the last 16 years because of curiosity, innovation, thought leadership and relationships.

The Big Dealer Report has become the “go-to” resource for understanding the consolidation in farm equipment dealerships and the changes required for scale to be successful. Our work together to derive insights has resulted in annual webinars that are popular not just for dealer leaders but also for OEMs, analysts and investors in farm equipment dealerships.  With the Top 100, you have innovated to deepen the analysis and its value.

Lessiter Media founder Frank Lessiter offered a pearl of wisdom for the second collaboration. When Mike Lessiter  took me to his office that day, he said that the success of writing a regular column was to keep it short (less than 800 words) and focused (no more than three ideas, preferably just one). Every one of the growing number of MAC advisors has heeded his advice. Since 2009, MAC advisors and others in our ecosystem have written 120 articles — so far.

Specialty publishers like Lessiter Media and management consultants like MAC do what we do because we are curious. We like new ideas. Our value added is to help our audience — dealership leaders — think differently about what they must do to sustain their businesses. We succeed by being thought leaders and examining new ideas as well as the core historical principles for success.

The “To the Point” blog of March 11, 2019  and its sequel column is a beautiful example of curiosity and thought leadership with impact. I was one of several people in our industry to take up your question/challenge to consider how to apply Jim Collins' Good to Great principles and build a flywheel for a farm equipment dealership. MAC uses its Dealership Good to Great Flywheel in dealer performance groups and operational excellence programs. From reading your article, 4 dealerships I've met have developed their flywheels. That's impact!

Under your leadership, you've described how Lessiter Media built and uses its flywheel. From the outside, it appears that many of the changes you've made were started or enhanced because of this introspection around basic success principles in your industry.   

You've enhanced the Dealership Minds Summit since 2013, and I am proud to have been a keynote speaker at that first DMS. We see your focus on precision farming in a similarly focused dealership summit and the Precision Farming Dealer media. You've also led the growth of the rural lifestyler sector.

Your lessons for dealers around digital marketing are valuable for staying competitive in their marketing. Your daily E-Watch via various media is a valuable resource for everyone whose livelihood depends on the farm machinery sector.

Our industry depends on strong personal relationships, and our mutually beneficial relationship is a good example. While good people like Dave Kanicki and Jack Zemlicka have left Lessiter Media, great people like Kim Schmidt and Ben Thorpe contribute to your moves from strength to strength. We are honored that they call on other MAC advisors to assist or speak at DMS (Russ Green, Zach Hetterick, Leo Johnson) and the Precision Farming Dealer Summit (Jim Henderson).

Speaking for the advisors of MAC, we congratulate Farm Equipment for 55 years and Lessiter Media’s purchase of the magazine 20 years ago.  You, your family and your associates should be proud of both.  

Well done! Onward and upward!

Check out other "A Look Back in Farm Equipment History" blogs

Industry commentary on “55 Years of Farm Equipment”

Read Farm Equipment's 55 Years of History Coverage