High Performance Habits Build Extraordinary Teams

Las Uvas Valley Dairy in Hatch, New Mexico. ( Sunshine Picture Project )

The rollercoaster ride of disrupters in 2020 has farms focused and even more so, doubling down on their techniques to build high performing habits as leaders and to grow the skills of their teams. Choosing to control what you can control has been key! Leading during and through uncertainty, requires a positive mindset, focus on systems and processes and defining a pathway forward to achieve goals.

It starts by building your victory mindset first! How you mentally frame the challenges and setbacks you face in your daily work or through a pandemic are key to building your grit and resilience and ultimately whether you will achieve success. Yes, I did say, it starts with you, first. Success does require both skill and luck, but during an unexpected crisis, the “story” you tell yourself and the words you use to talk to yourself are more critical than ever. 

It's too easy to get stuck or to wallow in what could have been or should have been, had it not been for the pandemic. Instead, test your positive thinking skills by asking yourself: Did I have a plan in place before this started? Was I making the right decisions before this all started? What do I need to shift in how I lead my team? Who do I need to connect with as a mentor to get back-on-track or to go-to-the-next level? Am I searching for opportunities to take my team or business into the future or are we stuck doing the same thing as we always have?

Whether you answered yes or no to those questions, the words you use to frame your current situation will change your mindset and elevate your mood. Focusing on maintaining positive mindset allows you to stay open to new possibilities where others see barriers, and a positive mood will lift your spirits and attract people who will support and follow your lead. As a leader, you set the tone and mood for the rest of the team. 

Secondly, build high performance habits by focusing on the daily systems and processes and not only on the outcome or goals. The journey to reach a goal is often accomplished in many different ways. When is the last time you and your feed team, including your nutritionist sat down and assessed how your feeding system and program are performing from start to finish? Taking the time to evaluate each part of your feeding program from daily operations to communication will allow you to see where possible opportunities exist and whether or not things could be more efficient or skills need to be developed. 

For example, what tools does your team use to communicate? How often are you communicating? Communication between members is one critical success factor. High performing teams have systems in place for how they communicate. WhatsApp is a great tool to link your feeder and the feed team to the herd manager and your nutritionist. Daily updates, photos or challenges can easily be shared and problems solved quickly. Successes can also be celebrated! 

Lastly, every person and business had to pivot in some way this year. Even the best-defined plans and budgets were impacted. Extraordinary teams are taking inventory monthly of where their business is performing today relative to their goals and where they want to be in 2021 and beyond defining the pathway forward. Choosing to control the high performance habits that you can control is key! Leading during and through uncertainty, requires you to have a positive mindset, focus on systems and processes and to define a pathway forward.