I live in the boonies in rural Aberdeenshire. I love it! I’m surrounded by fields, nature, hills, trees, birds, deer, ponies, meadow ladies and woollies. The outdoors is both my playground and my boardroom. I solve many a difficult sum or challenge in the great outdoors whilst away from my desk, computer and calculator, and it provides me with a constant source of inspiration.
Our farming communities are amazing and over the past few months I have admired their work as they harvest the land. If you have ever had the pleasure of watching farmers work at harvest time, I’m sure you will share my admiration. If you have never watched farmers working at harvest – you really must – I can highly recommend it.
The teamwork is quite simply stunning. Combines, tractors, trailers (operated by really cool people) all work together seamlessly to achieve the same goal – harvesting the land. The fields around us are quite large so two combines work in a field at any one time. The output of the combine (wheat / barley) is discharged through a chute into a trailer on the back of a tractor. All this happens while the combine is moving and when the trailer is full, it pulls away and another tractor takes its place with an empty trailer. The full trailer is then taken to the farm (which can be a few miles from the field) where it is emptied into the grain stores. The roads are narrow so all this has to be timed so that two tractors traveling in opposite directions do not meet. So at any one time the team includes 2 combine drivers, 4 tractor drivers and a grain store co-ordinator (the dude that shoves the grain back to make room for more).
In the background the support workers (the wifie’s) make sure that food and refreshments are supplied to keep the grafters well fed and keep the show on the road. As farmers ‘make hay while the sun shines’, they work into the wee small hours, stop for a few hours rest and start again.
Neighbouring farmers pull together and help each other out at harvest time. Each contributing manpower and tractor power to each other. And they all work together. Like a well oiled team. No complaining. No disagreements. They just get on with the job and help each other out.
Next time I saw our super-cool farmer neighbour (Michael), I shared my admiration for what I had seen and told him that it was such a class act of teamwork that I’m sure many companies and businesses in the commercial world would be truly proud of.
He smiled and said ‘aye … we just get the job done’. He then added ‘you could bring us some beers next time you’re watching’. If that’s my invitation to contribute to their amazing team I will happily oblige! And that’s effective delegation. As for Michael’s selling skills? … Well they’re damn good too 😉
So my friends, we can learn a lot from our awesome farming communities. Farmers!! You rock!!!