As I wrote about last time, storage is one aspect of agricultural production that has never fundamentally changed, and has always been key to financially successful farming operations. Good storage is a necessary component of any operation, as is good leadership. The two go hand-in-hand.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey is one of the best books to ever outline the qualities possessed by great leaders. It just so happens that storage fits perfectly into the seven categories Covey outlines as necessary to display good leadership in business.

Be Proactive. According to Covey, don’t sit and wait in a reactive mode, waiting for problems to happen. Plan for the future. That’s what good storage offers — a way to protect valuable product.

Begin with the End in Mind. Envision what you want in the future so you can work and plan toward it, Covey tells us. Do you see your business growing in the future? Most of us do. That’s the point of business, is it not? And any growing seed or farming business has increased need for storage.

Put First Things First. Any successful businessperson needs to know what needs looking after now and what can wait until tomorrow. Storage is crucial. Are your bins outdated, thereby increasing the chance for spoiled product? Do you need bigger ones? A fundamental concern like storage simply can’t wait. It’s a priority.

Think Win-Win. Covey notes that a good leader wants what’s best for everyone. Improving storage benefits the whole business, from the owners right down to the employees and customers.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Knowing what you need in terms of storage requires really understanding your business, and that requires listening to others who may have key feedback for you. This brings us to…

Synergize. Coveys tells us that good leaders combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork. Focusing on a fundamental like storage is a team effort, not a one-person show. You need to involve everyone and get their input. Finally…

Sharpen the Saw. Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle (business), Covey emphasizes. This means keeping your ear to the ground, and knowing when you might have to look at your storage capacity again. Good leadership and business management is a practice in ensuring you always keep your business top-of-mind.

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