There’s a distinctly different management philosophy between a business owner and a CEO. Both can be leaders, but a CEO is focused on strategies that impact profits.
The best CEOs are inspired. I love the word “inspired” because it conveys enthusiasm and the ability to operate from a place of motivation instead of reaction. Peter Drucker, a prolific management thinker, once said, “Effective executives concentrate on important and strategic decisions, not a great number of small, reactionary decisions.” That’s the framework from which you should operate in 2015: a place of visionary leadership that supports your bottom line, not a place of constant reaction to the commodity cycle or weather report. You need to think like a CEO.
Most top-performing farmers already think like a CEO but don’t realize it. In a recent survey, we learned 93% of Top Producer readers are the key decision maker on their farm, and nine out of 10 are the farm owner or partner. Top Producers run highly diversified businesses, with more than 22% owning more than one entity. Half of all readers have between three and nine employees, and 60% farm with more than one generation. All of this requires serious business management skills.
We often say Top Producers are the “cream of the crop” in farm production, and it shows in their early adoption of technology. Nearly 75% of readers own a yield monitor, and 52% say they will purchase a new tractor, harvester or implement in 2015. Top Producers know yields help make up for low prices, so they chase yields with technology and land improvements. The best news is that Top Producers are growing! Fully 30% expect to increase acreage by at least 15% in five years. Don’t be fooled, though; it will require CEO strategies to grow efficiently during low grain prices and tight land situations.
Here To Help. How can you learn CEO skills for your farm business? Keep reading Top Producer! It is our mission to provide you with leadership and management information, as well as timely marketing and business analysis. We believe farmers learn best from their peers, so we feature a real-life ag producer on our cover every month who shares personal philosophy on farm business.
You might have noticed our fresh cover look and page design. We sharpened our publication’s visuals and content to better reflect our high-level readers. This magazine is for you, the Top Producer who thinks like a CEO. Enjoy and be inspired! TP