A Future Built on Resilience

Farm Strong - A Future Built on Resilience: Jon Gordon

Matt Wilde
By  Matthew Wilde , Progressive Farmer Crops Editor
Jon Gordon (Progressive Farmer image provided by Jon Gordon)

> Two words that best describe 2020 may be "disruption" and "uncertainty."

> Both have been at the forefront thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, low commodity prices, trade disputes and multiple weather disasters.

> These are tough challenges to overcome no matter how long you have been farming. That's why you don't want to miss the 2020 DTN Ag Summit, Dec. 7 through 9. This year's event will be held virtually, but it will still feature a stellar speaker line-up who will share their strategic insights on ways growers can farm strong to build more resilience in their farming business. Go to www.dtn.com/agsummit for registration details.

Speaker: Jon Gordon

-- Best-selling Author and Motivational Speaker

-- Speaks and writes on a variety of topics, including leadership, teamwork, culture, sales and service.

-- Books include "The Power of Positive Leadership," "The Energy Bus" and "Training Camp." Clients include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat, Snapchat, Campbell's Soup and West Point Academy.

I admire and respect farmers and what they do so much. They often have eternal optimism. When you see people down by circumstances and events coming at them all time, I want to remind them of the hope and eternal optimism they embody. I want to rekindle that.

With agriculture, there are always unknowns and challenges. The power of positive leadership is about building a great culture and leading with vision, optimism and belief.

But, this is not about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. It's knowing you have the power to overcome the thorns. It's seeing the reality and finding a way forward to create a better future.

If you are an agricultural leader or have a farm, my message is to stay positive. It goes a long way to bettering your own health, state of mind and well-being. And, it will help you better lead your team.


Duke University did a study on optimists and found they work harder, get paid more and are more likely to succeed in business and sports. The study found optimists believe in a brighter, better future and take the actions necessary to create it. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Take Alan Mulally, for example, the man who turned around Ford. He came in when it was losing $14 billion (annually). But, he had the company profitable in a few short years. It was one of the greatest feats in history. And, he defined his leadership style as positive leadership.

Sometimes, positive thinking gets a bad rap. It's not covering up the reality of a situation or ignoring it. It's having the optimism and belief to overcome challenges to create a better future.

And, people sometimes get discouraged and give up. But, we can't live in the past; it's about winning the future. When you lead with optimism and belief, you will help lead yourself, your family and your employees through challenges. Negativity is contagious. It's important to be positively contagious so everyone performs at a high level.


Farming always has ups and downs. This, too, shall pass, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. I've spoken to a lot of organizations about how much they are struggling to navigate through challenges. At the end of the conversation, many say, "I needed that." Sometimes, people just need a reminder of what they already know.

In the midst of a problem, you can lose sight of what matters most and forget to stay optimistic and hopeful. What matters most is family, relationships and business. What's important is innovating and adapting, and finding a way to move forward.


> www.dtn.com/agsummit


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