Willpower is overrated. Go for smart work environments instead!

 

Willpower is great, but let’s face it: it’s a limited resource.

In reality, we’re the product of our habits and our environments. 

The key here is to use our willpower in a leveraged manner. Rather than try and use our willpower to muscle our way to productivity, we need to use our willpower to make decisions about what kinds of environments we create for ourselves and what routines and habits we establish in our lives

Today we’ll look at the environments and we’ll look at routines and habits in the coming weeks.

The following environments have a particular ability to make or break our farm efficiency and more importantly the farm’s enjoyability!

Farm Control Center 

This is a space that is often non-existent or drastically under present on the farm…. This is unfortunate, given the high impact that a well-designed control center can have on our ability to operate in an intentional and effective manner. 

The control center is the brain of the farm. This is where we manage the farm at an operational level. It is where we make our daily plans, hold team meetings, manage weekly workflow, and track your goals. This is a designated space for the operational management of the farm and includes: 2-3 large (4x8ft) whiteboards, 1-2 desks, enough seats for the whole team (or at least the core management team if your farm has a large crew), a computer, shelves and/or filing cabinets, and a coffee machine 😉 This space has the field maps, seeding schedules, planting and harvest records, timesheets, etc. Sometimes, the control center is also the farm office, though ideally have a separate quiet office workspace, since the control room can be a pretty busy, dynamic, bustling area of the farm.

The question to ask yourself is: How might this farm control center environment support me in coordinating the operational workflow and team dynamics I’m looking to nurture on my farm?

The office

Next is the farm office. The key is to set up the space to be conducive to keeping your bookkeeping up to date. Of course, there are things to be done other than bookkeeping, but if you are able to structure your work environment to keep your accounting up to date even in the height of summer, then you can do anything!

There are 2 key elements: each person needs to ideally ace their own desk or workspace; Use an inbox system to track incoming work and make sure it makes it to the right destination. I’ll get into this in a later blog post about how to manage your administrative workflow. 

How does the physical environment that you have created in your office support you to be a reliable, consistent business owner?

Is the environment of your office conducive to the good administrative habits you seek to cultivate in your farm?

The wash station

Here is another area of the farm where the physical environment we create has a huge impact on the behaviour of the people using the space.

At a very basic level, the wash station needs to be designed in a way that encourages efficient flow of vegetables from the field to the cold room while creating safe and ergonomic work habits for the team.

At a higher level, the way the wash station is organized needs to support the team to consistently do the important but non-urgent tasks that are parallelly related to washing and packing vegetables such as proper labeling, record keeping, food safety practices, making sure each order is complete and accurate, etc.

Map out the movement of products and people through the wash station… does it look like a bowl of spaghetti? How can you straighten and shorten the lines of movement?

How many times is each vegetable or box handled?  Do boxes get carried more than 2-3 steps without being on some type of wheeled device? (hand truck, dolly, pallet, cart) Are workers regularly lifting weights greater than 25-50 lbs?

Is each work surface at an appropriate height so as to not cause shoulder or back issues? Are wash hoses sufficiently flexible and well positioned so as to not cause torsion in the wrist? Do workers have to lift weights greater than 25 lbs while in torsion (ie lift and turn, lift and twist, lift and extend)?

Are packing and labeling tools and materials located exactly where they are needed at each step of the process? Can labels be applied with wet hands? Are clean hand towels available to dry hands so as to be able to apply the labels?

Are vegetable washing procedures and quality standards clearly written and visible? Are sanitary and wash station cleaning protocols or checklists clear and posted at the key locations? Is there a handwashing station with soap and hot water at the entrance of the wash station?

Are harvest records and packing slips located where they are needed? Are they in a format that can be filled in with wet or damp hands (whiteboard vs paper)?

Remember, this is a space where we spend a lot of time and that can often be a bottleneck in the production workflow. Having a well organized, ergonomic wash station can go a long way in creating a fun, enjoyable workspace for your employees. 

The tool room

GET RID OF YOUR CRAP!!! (oh, yeah, this applies to your office too… and all other workspaces).  Hopefully, you have a sense of humor… but, in all seriousness, this is truly a place where less is more.

The fewer types of tools you have, the easier it will be to have a place for each tool (and each tool in its place). The key is to develop a farm culture where a task is not considered “done” until all tools and materials are put away. This is so much easier to do when the tool shed is not a total mess (tidiness begets tidiness).

The question is: does your tool shed layout make it easy to keep it neat and tidy? 

Does each tool have a clear place?

Is it easy to walk into the tool room (without tripping on row covers, a seed, a couple of bags of green manure seed, and a ball of packaging material from the last delivery of irrigation supplies 6 weeks ago… you know what I mean, we’ve all been there)?

One last thing to wrap up this section… lest you think I’m some type of higher than thou clean freak … let’s just say that my wife would find it hilarious if she saw me writing these lines about tidiness. I merely emphasize the importance of neatness because I myself have been there and seen the enormous inefficiency that comes from farming in a mess!

Your turn!

What are you getting out of this blog post?

What change on your farm would have the greatest impact on the efficiency and enjoyability of the work?

What’s the next action to create the work environments you need?

My interview on the Thriving Farmer Podcast

I’m thrilled to share my very first podcast appearance with you! I first met Michael Killpatrick a number of years ago at a mutual acquaintance’s farm, and since then have always been impressed by the consistency, professionalism, and quality of his projects. Which is why I was honored when he asked me to join him on his podcast!

Check out my wide-ranging conversation with Michael Killpatick on the “Thriving Farmer Podcast”. Here’s the link. 

Your turn:

What are you getting out of this podcast so far? What do you see in this for yourself?

What is a small sweet step that would create the space to see your farm and life from a different perspective?

Enjoy!

Relaxing and unleashing your playful energy on the farm.

There are two ways to get something done. Quite honestly, my default setting has often been the “balls to the wall”, white knuckle, push on through way of doing things. This is what people refer to as “the grind”. Familiar??

Hark!! Another way is possible. A more playful, more easeful manner is available to us in each moment. Not easy, easeful. Not carefree, playful. 

What would become possible if life were a game to play? What if, what counts isn’t winning or losing, but enjoying the process of playing? What if everything is exactly as it ought to be? (yup… including the good, the bad, and the ugly)

This shift has had a tremendous impact in my life. I realized how futile it is to worry and try to figure out and control every little detail. Instead, it is way more empowering to see that ultimately, life is a game…at the time tremendously important and totally irrelevant; most importantly, that when I take this perspective, I am so much more present and engaged in each and every project that I care so much about. It’s as if up until now my brain had decided that the best way to demonstrate how important something was to me was to be anxious (what a load of crap!)

When we tap into this playful energy, we enter more consistently into the state of flow; the state of “mind like water”. This is the state of mind we need to be in to achieve our optimal performance and creativity. Neurologically speaking, this means using our frontal cortex rather than being hijacked by our amygdala (our caveman’s brain).  I know this can sound contradictory (relax, be playful… but seek to achieve “optimal” performance), but this is exactly the paradox that I invite you to consider. The best way to care about what you care about the most, is precisely not to care too much; to relax and enjoy the ride with all of its ups and downs and surprises. 

What would it be like to see that “All is Well”?

What would you do differently if it was all a game?

What would be one action this week that would be a demonstration of playfulness on the farm?

Cultivating loving relationships on small scale organic vegetable farms

What is sustainable agriculture? 

Self-regenerating farm systems with healthy, biologically thriving soils that capture more carbon than is emitted by the business while not introducing toxic chemicals into the environment? A business that generates enough profit to cover your living expenses, some recreational spending, and still put aside 20% for long term savings… while at the same time treating your employees with respect and dignity? 

Yes!! 

And….

There is another dimension to sustainable agriculture that is sometimes overlooked: The capacity to maintain, nurture, and grow our loving relationships with our spouses while farming together!

Of course, this is by no means a challenge that is limited to agriculture, but there are certain conditions that are present when farming with your partner that make it that it can be easy to gradually let your relationship slip by the wayside.

Here are 3 elements that can support you in nurturing a solid relationship with your co-farming husband or wife.

Structure your working relationship to be a strong team

Just because you two are lovers doesn’t mean that the rules of good business partnership don’t apply to you. 

  • Identify and honor your different skills and superpowers
  • Hold a weekly business meeting to plan out the week and discuss what needs discussing;
  • Once a month, take the time to look a little further and see what’s coming up in the next 30 days;
  • Have clearly delineated roles and areas of ‘control’. This doesn’t mean that you don’t consult each other for major decisions. Rather this simply points to the need to have an area of expertise and autonomy within the business. Ideally, this allows each person to focus their energy on an area where they are uniquely suited (aka, their farmer superpower) and to have at least one area of focus where they feel fulfilled and stimulated (aka one person isn’t stuck doing just office work… unless that’s what they would love, of course);
  • For God’s sake!!! Don’t roll up row cover together at the end of a hard day or week!!! I can’t imagine how many divorces row cover is responsible for! Ok, I’m 30% joking, but still, let’s be mindful that there are certain jobs on the farm that can cause tensions to arise. It’s important to be aware of our state of mind and be conscious of when emotions may just be a reflection of needing to take a break or to call it a dayé

Creating time and space that is non-farming

Farming with your partner can be such a rich and rewarding experience that can actually be an amazing expression of your love as you co-create and implement your vision together. 

That being said, it is important to have times in your life as a couple that are not entirely centered on the farm 

  • No talking about the farm after _______ o’clock. Or: No talking about the farm after supper. The specific time doesn’t matter, whatever you decide as a couple is perfect. This is important for you as a couple, but it is also important for you as an individual and as an entrepreneur. The brain needs downtime. This is important both for your mind to rest, and also to unleash the creative power of the subconscious mind to find solutions. It is critical to stop thinking sometimes!
  • Taking some time off each week. Yup, ideally this would be a weekend… but it can be a single day, an afternoon… whatever works for you! As long as you are setting aside a certain time each week to shift your attention off of farming and onto your relationship. 
  • Deliberately working together on a specific farm task in a calm and relaxed manner (for instance, being fully engaged and present while chatting and picking beans together.) This can even look like setting aside some time to work just the two of you without any employees;
  • Simple, regular, special attention and demonstrations of affection. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, what counts is the intention. It’s important to figure out how your partner best perceives love… aka their love language. In “The Five Love Languages”, Gary Chapman lays out 5 love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, and acts of service. The thing is that we don’t always have the same primary love language as our partners, and it’s key to figure out each of our love languages and strive to communicate love in a way that our partner is attuned to. 

Take care of yourself! 

Above all, love and nurture yourself!! The only way to fully show up as a loving partner is when you are well-grounded in yourself.

Taking time for yourself, know your needs, and do what you need to do to be well. Sometimes being a loving partner means having a warm bath while reading a book (aka taking care of yourself.)

————————

There you go… my 2 cents worth. But… what really counts is your authentic answer to this question of how to nurture your relationship in the midst of the busy farm life.

What are 2 actions you are willing to take this week to take your communication to the next level? When is your next business meeting with your partner scheduled for?

Have you told your spouse you love them lately? What is each of your primary love language? Here’s an online quiz to find out.

Is there some aspect of the farm that needs to be changed or eliminated to create greater harmony?

What would be a small sweet step towards creating greater non-farming quality time with your loved one?

Rest, recharge, and finish the growing season with clarity, focus, ease, and grace!

Alright, folks… it’s the final stretch.

By now, most of your expenses are behind you, which means that whatever sales you make here on out are pretty much gravy! The coming weeks are critical in terms of reaching your financial goals, leave a great impression for your clients to boost client retention next year, and prep the fields for next year.

And yet… 

And yet it’s been a busy summer! I know, you may be getting tired, that you may feel like you’re hitting a wall. It’s normal. In the last 2 weeks, 70% of my clients are hitting ‘burnout level 1’ (as one of them put it). 

What would it take to leave the farm for a 2 or 3-day vacation? 

What would it take to refresh, recharge, and come back with renewed energy and vigor for the fall?

What are 2 actions you are willing to take this week to create the time and space for some rest and recharge?

Summer is almost over, the seasons are shifting, and it is so important to take the steps necessary to be fully present and engaged at this time of year. 

Your mind is the most valuable asset of the farm, it’s time to recharge! 

PS: Do these types of questions interest you? Are you ready to take your personal and business skills up a notch? I’ve got just the thing for you! Join me and 5 other dynamic experienced farmers this winter to work together towards your goals. Here are all the details for the 2020 farmer-to-farmer coaching group

Getting to the root of the problem: Digging soil profiles to better grow healthy organic vegetable crops.

One of my favorite activities when visiting farms is to dig a soil profile (and I’ve had the pleasure of digging profiles all over North America over the past 3 years of #van life. It’s wild how infrequently I did this on my own farm, and how few farmers dig soil profiles to check out their crop’s roots. 

Our first reflex when observing a less than optimal crop is to look at surface level stuff: insects, diseases, fertilization, irrigation. While all these are important things to consider, soil and root health are often overlooked and can often be the root cause of the problem  (pun intended). 

No wonder these cauliflowers we half their normal size, there’s no root development below 4 inches due to soil compaction!

The idea is to dig a 12-16 inch deep cross-section trench the width of a bed, ideally in a standing crop or green manure. Once you have dug the hole, use a pocket knife to ‘refresh’ the edge by picking at it with the blade so as to see the actual soil condition and not only the smeared edge created by the shovel.

  • Start by poking the soil with your knife, starting at the surface and working your way down. How hard is the soil? Do you notice any change in hardness? Can you identify the different tillage depths based on how hard the soil is?
  • Pay attention to the roots. How deep do they go? Do you notice any roots that turn at a right angle and grow horizontally (an indication of compaction)? What color are the roots; white and healthy, or brown and necrosed? Is there any funkiness going on (such as nematode damage)? Is there a strong, identifiable taproot for crops where this would be expected? 
  • What evidence of biological activity do you see? How many earthworms and worm galleys are there? Is there undecomposed organic matter indicating anaerobic conditions and low biological activity? What does it smell like: sweet and earthy, or funky and anaerobic?
  • At what depth is the water table? (Ideally, you won’t find the water table at 12-16 inches… but I’ve been surprised before!)
  • We often assume our tillage operations are doing a good job, but it is so important to check it out for real. Dig a profile to check that your chisel, ripper, or subsoiler is actually doing what you think it is. 
Effect of compaction of organic vegetable roots (cauliflower). Notice the lack of roots below 4 inches and the roots that are growing horizontally.

By getting to the root of the problem, we can make sure to take actions that actually have the greatest impact possible… there’s no point spending time and energy on (insert input name __________) if you’ve only got roots 3 or 4 inches deep!!

Now that you’ve ascertained that there’s a compaction issue, it’s time to do something about it! This means using some type of tillage equipment to do some deep tillage. Usually, this means working the soil 8 inches deep using a chisel plow or broadfork. If you have serious compaction or ‘plow pan’ issues, you may need to chisel deeper or use a subsoiler. The general idea is to work at a depth that is 1 inch deeper than the compacted zone. The rule of thumb for deciding on the spacing between chisel or subsoiler shanks is to have 1.5 to 2 times the tillage depth (if working 8 inches deep, shanks could be 12-16 inches apart).

Here’s a great document on the subject of subsoiling.

Above all… dig a soil profile to verify that your tillage is actually having the desired outcome!!  

Similarly, it is so important to get to the root cause of any issue in our life. 

The problem is rarely the problem. Be curious about what is really going on!

  • The 5 ‘whys’: Asking and answering the question ‘why’ 5 times to get to the root cause of the problem (My profits are lower than anticipated, Why, Because market sales are 30% lower, Why, etc… 5 times);
  • Listen for the emotional needs behind what people are saying… not just to the issue they are seemingly bringing to you;
  • Be committed to reality. Are you more interested in your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions or are you more interested in seeing clearly what is present in this moment? 

Go make a ruckus!

Are drugs and alcohol holding you back from reaching your personal and farming goals?

Hi. My name is Jonathan, and I’m an alcoholic and addict. 

I’ve been sober from alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco since November 9th 2013.

I am so, so grateful for the grace of sobriety, one day at a time. I am so grateful that my son has never seen me drunk or high. Not a day goes by that I don’t shudder at the thought of where I was heading had I continued of the path I was on. 

Just because our crops are certified organic doesn’t mean that we as individuals always meet the same standards  🙂

For me, it started back in high school. Smoking weed with my friends. Feeling on top of the world. Perfectly normal, right? Moving to go to college in Montreal ‘cause the drinking age is 18 and pot is everywhere. Partying Thursday to Sunday. Perfectly normal, right? Oh, and getting high all day long, normal right? Just what open-minded alternative people do, right. It’s just weed anyways, right…? Starting the farm at 22 years old … needing an afternoon boost so slipping into the coldroom for a quick beer. What rhymes with plowing the fields till mid-night? A 12 pack of beer and a couple of joints of course!! Going off to the office mid-morning to ‘make a phone call’ (aka have a couple beers and a joint). Showing up to CSA drop off smelling of beer, weed, and cigarettes to deliver my organic vegetables (I still shudder with shame at that, I can’t believe no one ever said anything, I can only imagine they must have noticed!!) 

Perfectly normal… right? I work hard, I just need a little boost to power through this…

The crazy thing is how gradual it was. Till one day it dawned on me. 

A friend of mine was sharing with me about living with bi-polarism and I started telling him about my own challenges with ‘’cutting back’’ on drinking and smoking. All of a sudden, it’s like I heard myself talking… and it was like ‘’oh, yeah, I have a problem and I’m not going to be able to figure this one out by myself’’.

The next week I went to my first AA meeting. 

I was shocked to find a jovial bunch of happy people. I was shocked to find out that you didn’t actually have to believe in God, nor be a Christian… that you were free to find your own understanding of a ‘’power greater than ourselves’, and that there were actually plenty of atheists, agnostics, and new-age alternative types (and, yes, even the old white guys talking about God were nice too and that there’s something to be learned from everyone if you focus on your similarities more than your differences!)

A week later, I had my last drink and have been sober ever since. Two months later, my son was born. 

I was amazed by how much extra brain power was available to me in sobriety. Not only was my brain not being slowed down at a biochemical level, but I now no longer needed to use up so much of my brainpower managing my drinking (hiding bottles, worrying every time I saw a cop car on the road, hiding it from my loved ones and employees, etc.)

It’s been almost 6 years now and I’m living a life I literally never could have imagined. I’ve seen improvements in my physical and mental health, my relationship with my partner, and in the full range of experiences I can now live. I’ve developed a spiritual dimension richer than ever before. I’m not saying that the occasional thought doesn’t cross my mind. But I now know that I’ve forfeit my privilege to engage in such behaviours. As if we all have a quota of how much we can drink in a lifetime, and I happen to have used up that quota by age 27. Plus, I have a full set of tools, a network of support, and the self-awareness to know when I need to care for myself and how to do it.

You may be wondering why I am sharing this story with you. 

My hope is that this reaches even one person who is suffering. 

If that’s you…

Know that you are not alone.

Know that you don’t have to do this alone. 

Know that another way of life is possible. 

No matter how many times you’ve tried, know that it matters not how many times you’ve fallen, what matters is how many times you get back up.

I’m not an addiction counselor. I can’t coach you to sobriety. But if you just want to chat, give me a call; Just one farmer to another… that’s all. 514-348-0815. farmercoach@gmail.com

Remember, you don’t have to figure out how to stay sober for the rest of your life…

It’s one day at a time. And even then, sometimes it’s 10 minutes at a time in the beginning!

Welcome to your life.

Take the dive; Come on in, the water’s great!!

Mid-Summer’s Financial Reality Check

I get it!! Summer is in full swing and you’re probably plenty busy surfing the wave of the growing season. Personally, this is a time of year I always loved on the farm– when I could be fully immersed in the richness of growing and harvesting the abundance that a well planned and well executed market farm can produce.

For many years, the last thing on my mind at this time of year was budgeting. I mean, budgeting is something you do in winter right …? Wrong!! On my farm, dialing in the mid season budget management was instrumental in allowing me to take my net income from 30k$ per year to 50k$ (and that, the year after my son was born, and my first year managing my farm without my wife.)

The fact of the matter is that this is a crucial time in terms of scoring our financial goals. The game is by all means not won, nor lost, at this point… Depending on your situation, it can go both ways. Arguably the biggest sales months are still ahead!

Thus the importance of bringing more focused attention to our finances this week.

  1. Where are your sales at? What % of your total sales target have you reached so far? Are you ahead or behind of last year’s % sales at the same date?
  2. What weekly sales targets will allow you to reach your goal? Don’t be fooled by a simple average. Weekly sales targets in August will obviously need to be higher than in June or October. Break it down by sales outlets so you can see which are ahead and which are behind. Communicate these targets to your market vendors… celebrate victories, brainstorm creative ways your staff can take an active role in scoring these goals.
  3. How are your expenses doing? What expense categories have you maxed out; which still have some budget available? What expenses can you minimize or delay till next year? It can be tempting to buy the largest format of supplies to ‘get a lower price per unit’, but please take into consideration your annual budget when making such decisions. The lower unit price of a box of 5000 screws when all you needed was 500 is not always worth busting your budget for.

By all means… don’t freak out if you don’t have the record keeping systems in place to allow you answer all these questions.

Progress… not perfection! We’ll work on those systems next winter together. 😉

Oh … and don’t forget to enjoy the ride! What would be a small sweet action that would be a demonstration of enjoying the small things in life and savouring the summer?

Achieving equity growth on your farmer mind/body balance sheet (aka self-care for farmers)

Ahhh, the balance sheet– everyone’s favourite topic and the sexyest of farm financial statements 😉

Equity=Assets-Obligations… remember?

As a farmer, your biggest asset is yourself.

Your mind, your spirit, your body. (Hereby referred to as your mind/body; alluding to the fact that separation of mind, body, and spirit (the holy trinity?) is an illusion)

And yet…

And yet it’s the farm asset that we most often neglect and fail to maintain and care for.

We do oil changes on the tractor, we repaint our houses, we fix leaks in the roof of our buildings, we grease the zerks on our machinery, we install drainage and level our fields…

Similarly there are simple actions we can take to care for our mind/body. It doesn’t have to take much time! Just 10 minutes per day makes an enormous difference!

Stretching, a quiet walk, listening to the birdsongs with a nice hot beverage, yoga, a quick swim in the pond, meditation, dancing in your pyjamas, prayer, reading a couple pages from an inspiring text, massage (self massage or with a partner), the list is endless.

The point is that this is such a personal topic– I can’t tell you what you need, but your mind/body knows! Create a 10 minute break in your day to look within and see what would just feel great to you.

What are you doing to maintain and nurture your mind/body?

How’s your mind/body balance sheet doing?

What are the major ‘obligations’ (debts) that are putting a strain on your mind/body?

What would it be like to set aside 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening for self-care?

Look within… what would just feel great to you?

Firing farm employees with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.

Firing an employee is one of the hardest things about being a business owner.

No one likes doing so. As if it were somehow bad or insulting or hurtful.

The truth of the matter is that it’s perfectly normal. It’s a normal part of being in business, and it’s normal to feel these emotions.

But what if there were a different way of seeing it?

What if it wasn’t about ‘firing’ anyone?

What if it were about being intentional about the relationships we choose to cultivate and maintain around us?

The fact of the matter is that our employees are the people we spend the most time with in our life.

When I look at it from the perspective of cultivating a relationship, I see how important communication is. Way before even getting to the point of ‘firing’ someone, it is so important to clearly communicate expectations and to create the space to regularly check in. If you see there is something that is not working, you need to let them know ASAP! People fundamentally want to succeed. Take the time to sit down and clearly communicate what is and isn’t working for you and what needs to change to correct the situation. Be clear on the time frame… 1 week, 2 weeks?

Oh… and by the way, you aren’t fooling anybody by not talking about it! Body language and attitude are so obvious and we humans are hard-wired as social animals to pick up on these subtle forms of communication. If there is something that is bothering you, you can be pretty damn sure your employee either already knows about it, or at least has a sense that something ain’t quite right.

I know it can seem like you don’t have the time for communication. I’ve been there. I know how there is always something more urgent to do than take 15 minutes for an employee check in– but it is soooo important. You don’t have the time NOT to do it!!

And be truthful– truthful with yourself and truthful with your employee. Embrace the truth of the matter. This can be challenging given the tendency of the mind to obsess on either guilt, judgement, or condemnation (thoughts like either ‘geez why am I thinking this, it isn’t that bad.’ -OR- ‘that person is such a ……’ -OR-   ‘I’m such a ….’)

What is more interesting to you, these ‘monkey mind’ thoughts, or squarely looking at whether or not this person and your business are a fit?

If it becomes clear that someone is in fact not a good fit for your business, let them know as soon as possible in a respectful, clear, and compassionate manner. As Chris Blanchard used to say ‘Hire slow, Fire fast’. It’s better to be short staffed than to have someone on board that’s not a fit for your team. I know it can be scary, but in my experience that person is probably slowing down the entire team and contributing to a tense and unenjoyable work atmosphere–and it’s amazing how often the right person appears once you create the space for it.

The key question is always: Am you more interested in what is missing, or in what is seeking to emerge in this situation?