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My dad is my hero. Part of why I value my time growing up working on the farm is all of the time I got to spend with him along the way.

For some reason, there’s one conversation that has stuck in my mind for close to 20 years. It’s seemingly insignificant, but I can’t shake it.

We had just finished building a new set of corrals (quite a feat in itself). As we were talking about how to finish it, or maybe after we had used them a few times, he told me he had an idea for a sorting gate. It took the concept of a calf feeder (which probably won’t mean much to you), and combined it with a gate, to create a sorting gate.

Let me give the simple version: this sorting gate would allow small calves to “sneak” through the gate, while keeping their momma’s from doing the same thing.

My mind was blown. I never would have considered something like that. The innovation was remarkable in my mind. And I think that’s what has stuck with me more than anything from that conversation.

My dad has an ability to look at a situation and see an opportunity. And that inspires me to do the same.

So much of leadership is trying to make the most of the situations in front of us. One of my favorite trips at my previous church was our leadership trip. It was a hybrid trip where I loaded student leaders into a car and drove them to 4-5 people who would share leadership ideas with them. I wanted these students to get a conference experience in an area where there were no conferences. So we built our own.

If we’re serious about expanding our leadership influence, we have to learn to adapt and innovate. I’m not looking to turn the world upside down. But I am looking to make the most of the time I have now.

In the midst of COVID19 and online meetings, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But we do need to adapt and innovate. Are you? How can I help?


2 Comments

Lessons from the Farm: Hacks | 3 Question Leadership · April 30, 2020 at 8:35 AM

[…] Why? Because hacks develop out of necessity and frustration. Sometimes you develop it on your own (adapt and innovate), and sometimes an old farmer shares a […]

Train to Maximize, Not Correct | Three Question Leadership · September 15, 2020 at 8:39 AM

[…] let’s go agricultural (because that’s what I do). Good grazing keeps cattle in the pasture way better than good fences. So, when you do the work on […]

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