Apr 16, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions Sign UpLogin

February 2012 Archive for Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Legacy Minders

Feb 28, 2012

 Wheat   NRCSFrom Legacy Moment (02/24/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.

Like any other game, sport or challenging endeavor, succession planning is more than physical techniques and drafted documents. Done properly, it’s a mental undertaking that will test even the most committed business leader. In preparing for a recent presentation, I created the following list of Legacy Minders---things to be mindful of as you contemplate the psychological aspects of the succession planning process.
1.    It’s up to you to initiate the process. Exercise your responsibility as a leader and commit to engage.
2.    Or, if someone else initiates the process, support their efforts and agree to action.
3.    Create a safe environment for others to express their ideas, thoughts and/or desires.
4.    Listen to learn. Learning is the basis for all growth, and a large part of succession is growing the operation forward.
5.    Appreciate differences. Other perspectives and differing points of view are not "being wrong."
6. Grow your relationships. The transition from parent/child to working colleague is an all-the-time effort.
7.    Lead by example. Model the behaviors you hope to teach the next generation.
8.   Don’t impose preconceived ideas on others. Our best intentions are not always welcome and/orcorrect. Children must be allowed to respond to their interests.
9.    Follow a defined succession planning model and process. Using proven methods and trusted techniques is the most efficient way to achieve your goals.
10. Confront conflict. Don’t allow the possibility of dissent to impede your progress. Most of the things people worry about never happen.
11. Employ formal business structures and tools. The right systems encourage objectivity and eliminate subjective decisions.
12. Mentor someone not related to you. Mentoring is an excellent exercise to learn how to better communicate, teach others and learn from a younger generation.
13. Make succession a priority. Most people really only focus on three or fewer objectives; if succession isn’t a priority, it simply won’t happen.
14. Don’t stereotype. This is especially shortsighted when assuming gender is an occupational qualifier.
15. Be available. Your tuition of years of experience is a wealth of wisdom that may be the difference between success and failure.
16. Act responsible; be accountable. A business leader intuitively lives this creed as it relates to money matters. Just as much effort must be directed to succession planning and the transition to a well-prepared next generation.
17. Be mindful, there are many methods to achieve success.
18. Don’t act as the organization’s succession planning facilitator. A leader cannot both participate in the process and objectively facilitate the discussions.
19. Leave the past there; it serves no purpose to recall it now. History is an excellent scorecard to measure accomplishment and gain wisdom from mistakes. Like falling when we learn to run, missteps are bruises of experience.
20. Do it now. It’s never too early to engage in succession planning. Long term goals will inform management decisions and help everyone to focus on their most heartfelt dreams.
21. Take decisive action.
22. Get help where necessary. If it sounds expensive, calculate the cost of a mistake.
23. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Like most other endeavors, there is a risk – reward tradeoff in succession.
24. Don’t be above reproach. No one is infallible.
25. Commit. People respond appropriately to commitment.
Handled appropriately, succession becomes an all-consuming commitment. It informs our decisions. It helps us to focus on the important, rather than the urgent. Planning for an eventual transition ensures that the operation encourages professional development and a gradual (and necessary) progression in management responsibilities. It is the achievement of legacy.   

News & Resources for You: 

As you get started, remember to access our menu of online succession planning tools.
Reservations are still open for Legacy Project Workshops in Moline, IL (March 12th), Lafayette, IN (March 14th), and St. Louis, MO (March 15th). 
  eNewsletter Sign Up Legacy Pioneer Badge 300px
FaceBook Logo
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.

What Are You Waiting for?

Feb 14, 2012


Esther Family 07 2011From Legacy Moment (02/10/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.

The folks at Farm Journal and Top Producer are looking for another good family to see through the succession planning process.
July 2011 dellsIf you’ve been curiously watching as the Esthers, Dells and Moeses walk through the process and you wish it were your family, now is your opportunity. All you need to do is send us a letter, in the mail or as an attachment to an email, and tell us a little about your family, your farm and the future you’d like to create.
Moes legacy plansIn following these Legacy Moments, reading the magazines, clicking in on the web or watching "Leave a Legacy TV," you know enough about the Project, the succession planning process and my approach to working with the family. You’re well informed regarding the long-term dedication of Farm Journal Media and Pioneer Hi-Bred.
As with the other case study families, we will never compromise your confidence. Our intent is to help others learn from those who are doing.
As the Esthers wind up three years of sucessful farm transition work, we’ll continue to check in with them from time to time to follow up on the fine points of planning. Remember, succession is a journey. You will be able to continue reading about the Dells and Moeses as usual in Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines.

It’s a life-improving commitment that helps to improve the integrity of the operation, enhance the financial security of each family active in the operation, prepare the next generation to lead and create a lasting legacy.

If you would like to be considered, we ask that you send a letter sharing an overview of your farm, as well as your succession planning frustrations and goals.  Letters may be emailed to legacyproject@farmjournal.com, or mailed to 2550 Lakewest Drive, Suite 10 - Chico, CA 95928.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call Nancy at (877) 523-7411. 

  eNewsletter Sign Up Legacy Pioneer Badge 300px
FaceBook Logo

Portrait of a Leader

Feb 08, 2012

 LeadershipFrom Legacy Moment (02/04/2012).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.

Succession is just one of the many challenges you’ll face in growing your operation and meeting the demands of an expanding population. Though our methods for coping with these challenges will change, the leadership characteristics we will need to call upon are eternal.
The character of a farmer is founded on hard work, independence and self-reliance. Character is honed by years of dedication, accountability and responsibility. As the operation grows and demands increase, the astute farmer learns about teamwork and persistence.
A person doesn’t usually just ‘happen’ into farming; it’s a profession born of passion and a sincere appreciation for the land. It might be said that a farmer is born of the land, raised to be a leader and proud to provide.
We must continue to hone our leadership skills to maximize the opportunity in the challenges ahead.
Meet some our our great farm leaders in this brief video.
News & Resources for You:

The Legacy Project congratulates Gregg Halverson, 2012 Top Producer of the Year! In every aspect of his life, Gregg displays the stellar attributes of a respected and effective leader. Learn more about Gregg's story by watching this episode of "Leave a Legacy TV." 
Consider using succession planning as an opportunity for operation growth.


  eNewsletter Sign Up Legacy Pioneer Badge 300px
FaceBook Logo



Log In or Sign Up to comment


The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions