Pillar 5: Creating a rhythm of monitoring using a network of support.

Thanks to the first 4 pillars, we now have: a clear vision; identified our priorities; developed our plans; and implemented our systems. Now, it’s time to play ball!

Pillar 5 is all about consistency.

Small sweet actions taken consistently will always outperform erratic blitzes of activity followed by periods of inaction.

The question is: how do we create a farm culture that supports each member of the team to consistently play full-out and where everyone participates in keeping the farm on track to achieve the goals as planned.

Pillar 5 addresses this with two elements: Monitoring, and Support.

Monitoring… a.k.a. Keeping Score

Goals, plans, and budgets are not mere whims that we create in the winter and forget about till next year. They serve as a road map to keep us on track to achieve our goals. For this to occur, we actually need to check the map. Regularly.

This means keeping the bookkeeping up to date (minimally monthly) and comparing the current actual situation to the forecasts. It is amazing how many actions are possible to help keep the budget on track…This is attainable only if you know precisely where you’re at each month. Here is a tool that I used on my farm to visually know how each of my income and expense accounts was doing at any moment.

This principle applies to all our farm goals, not only to the financial objectives. The key is to check in regularly to compare your goals with the results you are actually getting. How often are you actually practicing the guitar? How present are you for your family? Are you taking one or two days of rest and rejuvenation each week? Whatever your goal is, it is critical that you check in with yourself. This is much easier if you have a clear, measurable goal. The 4DX system is a great example of this approach.


No person is an Island! We are made to be social creatures who thrive on love and caring. There are times when our strong, independent natures are very useful to us as farmers and entrepreneurs. However, when this nature dominates the way we run our farm, we end up taking on so many roles and responsibilities that we no longer focus our time on what is important. So much so that our passion turns into work and we no longer have fun!

What would it be like to ask for support? What would it be like to be part of a network of mutual support?

Very often, we already have the networks available to us. We just need to learn to offer, ask for, and accept support. This support can be in the form of our local and regional community of farmers, our friends and families, our farm employees, and professional services such as coaching or mastermind and coaching groups.

Our initial inkling is that ‘Support is for the weak.’ The old vision of a strong leader is someone who is independent, mentally and physically powerful and is able to make all the right decisions on their own. The new vision of a strong leader is one who surrounds themselves with all the best advisors, who is mentally and physically flexible, agile, and resilient, and who makes the best decisions by inspiring and bringing out the best in those around him or her.

Ultimately, support is out recognizing that we are not alone. It’s about reaching out and connecting with those in our networks. It’s about asking for help. It’s about generously being there for others. It’s about being part of something greater than ourselves

Is there someone in your network you’d like to connect with this week?

‘Vulnerability is allowing the winds of life to blow freely over your soul’ – Maria Nemith

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