Who remembers growing up and competing against your mates or others at home or in the school yard?
You may or may not have come out on top but either way and without realising it you were learning, getting stronger, smarter and becoming more durable. Competition has been around for ever it is part of evolution and is also the reason many humans to continue playing sports until their ripe old age. Competitive people love the adrenaline, the strategy, tactics and internal fight that problem solving brings.
But how does competition help you in farming or any business for that matter?
Whether you are the boss or apprentice, your competitiveness plays a big part in determining how successful you are in your job. The more competitive you, are the better your stickability and more likely you are to go the extra mile to solve tough problems and help others out when they need it. It doesn’t necessarily make you a better than the person beside you, the true competitor is humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
Years ago during farm discussion groups we called out anyone who dished up suspect farm data, we tested theories and tried to get one over our neighbour. It created a healthy competitive environment and people learnt a great deal.
We need to get that competitiveness back if we want to survive in farming. Recently the Northern part of New Zealand has gone through the worst spring in close to 30 years but farmers, competitive by nature, refused to give in and battled some depressive times. Those who refused to be beaten brought in fresh eyes for advice, gave staff time off, put cows onto OAD and looked after themselves because being competitive also means working strategically to get the result you want.
So if you find yourself or your staff getting a bit complacent take up a sport like squash or cycling that’s easy on the body and get that competitive streak back in you. Get some adrenaline coursing through your veins. Go back to your farm discussion group and beat the benchmark. You will be surprised how much you missed it.
Share this with your friends and enemies because without either we wouldn’t get better.