None Of Us Is As Smart As All Of Us

Isn’t it usually easier to solve someone else’s problem rather than your own?  It’s easier because you are more objective and haven’t invested the blood, sweat, money and tears into their situation.  Making it even easier to be an arm-chair quarterback, you don’t have to implement any of your brilliant solutions….they do.

Just as you often see your neighbor’s opportunities more clearly than they do, they see yours too.  This is why it is so important for a business to have an outside board of advisors.  Sometimes what they have to say isn’t easy to take.  We tend to defend our past decisions; after all, they don’t know the whole story.  But advisors don’t need to know the whole story.  Where you’ve been isn’t as important as where you are going and that’s where their focus should pull you, getting you to think about what you want and how you will get there.
Even though your neighbor may see opportunities you don’t, it probably isn’t a good idea that they sit on your board.  In Executive Link we purposely make the boards as geographically diverse as we can.  Businesses on a new Executive Link board that will be meeting next month in Colorado include ranch businesses from Southern Alberta to South Texas and enterprises that include commercial cow-calf, seed stock, hunting, grass finished beef and lamb and direct marketing.  What seems impossible in one environment and enterprise mix is standard operating procedure for another.  The synergy possible when we have this level of diversity is where breakthroughs are born.
Our natural tendency is to avoid diversity.  We tend to associate with people who think like we do.  But just as diversity increases health and stability of an ecosystem, diversity also increases the power of a team.  If everyone thinks the same thing, then no one may be thinking very much and only one of us is necessary.
Whether through our Executive Link program or organizing your own team, periodic review from people who are objective and have diverse perspectives will lead to better decisions and a stronger business.
With that in mind, we have created a Ranching For Profit Blog in which we can debate and discuss the issues and observations I raise in ProfitTips.  I invite you to respond to these articles with your reactions and questions and to share your experience.  I am looking forward to using this blog to generate rich and stimulating discussions from which we will all benefit.  After all, none of us is as smart as all of us.
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8 Comments


  1. EL was one of the best investments we’ve made. Aside from the benefits of CE and what goes on in the meetings, the net-working and idea exchanges during R&R moments and mealtimes were memorable.


  2. Go with the flow. Every ranch I’ve ever seen has times when they are working in the business – WITB – so intensely that no one has the time or energy to Work on the business – WOTB. Fortunately, those times are usually predictable. For example, we know things are going to be hectic at calving (provided you aren’t comfortable with all of nature’s culling decisions). Likewise, there is often a narrow window of time for farmers to plant or harvest crops. Similarly, at RMC, from November through February we are WITBing like crazy. (The Ranching For Profit School and EL may be WOTB for our participants, but delivering the programs is WITB for RMC.) We do very little WOTB in the winter but we make up for lost time in March, April and May.

    Nature has cycles and so does our work load. Don’t schedule WOTB when the need for WITB is peaking. Even if you try to WOTB during these periods your head and heart won’t be in it.


  3. My WITB is killing me right now (retail and wholesale sales,planting, calving all peaking together due partly to weather conditions.) This stretch lasts for about 6-8 weeks. I do not have the energy to do WOTB. How do you guys get it all done?


  4. I was just talking to a friend this morning about his business. It was so easy to see his errors but I can’t see mine for sure. I think your article was right on. I listened to Harmony and Work last night and got a new perspective. Thanks RFP!


  5. There is value to being both a consultant and a rancher. Sometimes as a consultant you see opportunities and solutions for someone else that also apply to you. The funny thing is, that if you didn’t look at the other person’s place, you wouldn’t see the opportunities in your own. In Executive Link members are ranchers and consultants. They use a structured procedure to review one another’s businesses. It is a good feeling to help someone get where they want to go. But they also get value because in looking objectively at the other person’s ranch, it helps them see their own business more objectively.

    This applies to me as much as anyone. That’s why I bring in others to look inside my business. Like everyone else, there are times when I can’t see the forest for the trees.


  6. When I read the first paragraph, I thought it was going to be about being a consultant instead of a rancher! That’s probably because I had a 14-hour day of WITB yesterday. Enjoy your meeting here in Colorado – I hope it is on the we(s)t side of the divide.


  7. Thanks for the updates


  8. Hi

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