Lessons from the Farm: Acknowledging Influences

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Well, here we are again. April at 3QL means I dig into my past and bring some leadership lessons from the farm. If you’re new, or if you’d just like a refresher, you can see some of the lessons from the farm posts from the past by clicking here, here, here, and here. Now, let’s move forward!

Growing up in an agricultural family, I spent a lot of time on my dad’s land. We lived in town, so anytime we needed to meet up, or to work on something, we never went to “the field”. Every field had a name. Seems simple enough, right?

Here are a few of the field names I grew up saying:

  • The Hangar Field
  • The 90
  • The Triangle
  • The Shelter Belt
  • North of the Twin Windmills
  • South of the Barn
  • The Adobe House Field
  • The Big Field

Now, look back over that list. Some names are incredibly descriptive, if you know where the landmarks are. North of the Twin Windmills only makes sense if you know where the Twin Windmills are. Same with South of the Barn. But those are easy enough, because those still structures still stood during my lifetime.

A couple, however, are a little trickier. I’ve never walked in the Adobe House the field was named after, because it wasn’t there. Oh, and the Hangar in the Hangar field? Nope. I’m pretty sure it was gone shortly before my arrival in the 80s.

Yet those fields have those names. There’s actually a new hangar, but it’s not in the Hangar Field. Go figure.

On the farm, once something has a name, it carries that name for decades. There’s history wrapped into the name. Memories of each field evoke emotions.

In leadership, we have to be aware of the unspoken influences and memories tied to the organizations we lead. Understanding where something (or someone) originates provides insight, and allows forward movement.

Is there something around you that you need to stop and consider the story behind. You never know, you may find some beauty in the story behind the name.

Or, it may be called the Big Field because it’s a big field. You never know until you ask.

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