Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to the home of the Modern Farm Business® podcast, hosted weekly by Dean Heffta. Modern Farm Business translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.

Modern Farm Business is now available on iTunes, StitcherGoogle Play, Pocket Casts, TuneIn, and all your favorite podcast content provider apps.


Subscribe now!

Dec 20, 2018


What’s made relationships so important in today’s business?
They’ve always been important. Settling the prairie, the most important currency we had was building trusting relationships to help us purchase cattle, get credit from the feed store, lean on a neighbor for help when necessary...Over time, though, we became less reliant on neighbors and other relationships. Equipment and buyers for our grain were plentiful, and we were busy enough that we lost our neighborly connections.

But today’s technological advances open up many more opportunities for community engagement, and also in ways we’ve not been able to engage before. This means bringing different thinking and habits than we had before.

Which five relationships have been instrumental in getting you to where you are today?
Think about this: was it a parent? A coach? A teacher? A neighbor, your spouse or a good friend? We like to think of ourselves as self-made, but in reality other people often have a hand in providing opportunities, directing our path, sharing honest feedback or helping us when we’re in need--and the odds of our success are closely linked to the size and strength of our relationships.

Four behaviors to help us move forward in our relationships: G.A.I.T.

  1. Give freely. Some of the most affluent people I know also happen to be the most generous. They give freely of their time, money, wisdom, or whatever can help someone else out. They don’t keep score; they know that right is right, and we are all social creatures charged with supporting and caring for one another. But there’s a danger of taking it too far and leaving no time for ourselves. To give well, one must keep one’s own house in order first.
  2. Ask humbly. In our self-sufficient world it can be tough to ask for help. We don’t like to inconvenience others & we don’t like to look like we can’t handle our own situation. But Ben Franklin noted that one of the best ways to build a relationship with someone was to ask them for a favor. It might seem a counterintuitive thing to do, but Franklin had a very poor relationship with a particular gentleman, so Franklin asked him if he could borrow a book he knew the man owned. This endeared him to the man; he was flattered that Ben Franklin wanted something he owned. Asking for help demonstrates humility & opens the door to a different kind of relationship. A caveat: If you borrow something, bring it back as good or better than when you got it.
  3. Invest deliberately. Look at your life and business, and assess where your relationships are lacking. Find ways to rekindle those relationships. Author Harvey Mackay wrote: “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Reconnect with others now by taking action, because you might need to rely on those relationships at a later date.
  4. Thank generously. Appreciation costs nothing, but it can be the first thing we forget as we hurry to get on to the next thing. Remember, though, that a sincere thank-you can go a long way. Show others that they are important, what they did matters, and that they are genuinely appreciated. Use the Power Thank-You: a) Tell them what they did; b) Acknowledge their effort; and c) Tell them the impact. Example: “Thank you for helping with installing my new window, I know you had other projects that needed your attention on Saturday but because of your expertise we were able to enjoy our family get together the next day. Thank you!”

So there you have GAIT for tending to your relationships: Give freely. Ask humbly. Invest deliberately. Thank generously. Our most important role as leaders is to build strong, trusting relationships. I hope there are some insights in today’s episode that will help you do just that!

Thanks for listening! Email me any questions or comments at See you next week!