Success in the Ag industry requires a lot of hard work, but that hard work is nothing without outstanding leadership. A great leader guides the direction of a facility, team, or company. They look forward to identifying future trends. They prepare for the worst, insulate their organizations from harm, and ensure that no matter what happens, they can make it through. And, when they navigate the troubled waters of the Ag industry and the world at large, they find success where others might be lost.
Modern agriculture is primarily led by older generations of farmers, many of whom are leaving the industry through retirement. More than ever, it is becoming critical to find a top-class leader to head your management.
How can you find top executives in Ag, hire them on, and lead your organization to long-lasting success?
Look for Key Qualities
The key is to look for qualities that make for an excellent leader. Understand what separates a true leader from the pack. What should you look for?
Charisma. Great leaders have charisma in spades. They can persuade people, charm them, and influence them, whether they’re talking to farmworkers, other executives, or industry regulators.
Vision. Mediocre executives live in the moment, reacting to outside influences and struggling to stay afloat. Great leaders look ahead. They predict trends, they prepare for eventualities, and they navigate and avoid problems before they occur. When the unexpected happens, they have contingencies and plans to deal with whatever comes.
Experience. The best leaders in Ag come from Ag. They know what it takes to run a farm, whether it’s small scale or industrial in scope, whether they’re directly working with workers or managing large teams and fleets. It’s exceedingly rare that someone can come in from outside the Ag industry and succeed without first spending time gaining experience.
Trends over the last decade, and especially in the last few years, have followed a push to broaden diversity in Ag hiring. While farmworkers have always been a diverse lot, middle and upper management tended to lose that diversity. The result has, unfortunately, been a lot of stagnation.
When an organization picks up diverse leaders, those leaders can leverage experiences outside the traditional norm in Ag leadership. In particular, there has been a surge in hiring women as Ag leaders over the last year.
The current job market for Ag executives is highly candidate-driven. More leaders are retiring or leaving the industry than there are replacements ready to go, so candidates are given the power to pick and choose where they want to work. Many are looking specifically for companies with a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive operation.
Perhaps the most challenging trait to find in quality leadership is intuition, and it takes intuition to recognize intuition. Intuitive leaders are creative thinkers, capable of finding ways through or around problems or crises with minimal losses. At the same time, they can innovate in unexpected ways.
No personality test or hiring process can check for intuition. No computer system can flag an intuitive executive from their resume. The only way to find it is to know it when you see it.
That’s where we come in. At Ag 1 Source, our recruiters have a background in Ag. We know that intuition, and we know how to recognize it. We have it ourselves. That’s why we’re at the forefront of the Ag industry, helping to connect clients with the best, most well-aligned leadership available.
Sometimes, the best leader isn’t generically the best. They’re the best for you. Finding that match is our specialty. If you’re looking for the best in Ag leadership, look no further than our executive recruiting process. We can find the great leadership you need.