Tuesday 9 April 2024

Amuludun Farms: Three (3) Years After | Part Four.

We started with just a Farm Manager, added a Technical Manager, relieved the Farm Manager and replaced her with the Technical Manager; brought back the Farm Manager and the Technical Manager resigned. That in one sentence has been our Field Leadership experience.

Ours is a tale of two Farm Managers. Like they say, "the taste of the pudding is in its eating." We have eaten from our two Farm Managers and now know, beyond all doubts, what we want and need in a Farm Manager.

Both of our Farm Managers have been hard workers. They both brought their hands to the farm. Probably not did they equally bring their hearts to the work. One saw it has a privilege to work for us, the other, possibly, thought he was doing us a favor. And, was thus using us to look for better opportunities.

With the heart not in the game, he was trapped in the tactical, and oblivious of the strategic intent of our daily ventures. He had 1000 reasons why things will not work. The other with heart in the game was not lost in the tactical, but understood the strategic intent of our journey. She had a 100 ways how our venture could work and was willing to try new things.

My Farm Manager with no heart in the game once came up with a supposedly brilliant idea on how we could make 300K weekly from selling Local Habanero. He said all we needed to do was plant 10 acres of it. All he requested of me was to handle it all on his own. He did not want my involvement. I was okay with the plan, but asked to be a part of it.

This was past our second year as a farm and company and I had been bleeding cash. I was at this time working to get a grasp of things. The most amazing and shocking thing is, my farm manger never mentioned it again, nor make any attempt in actualizing such a project. My conclusion, "he was all about using me to achieve his own end, with no intent of helping grow the company or generate the cash that was paying his salary.

Well, I had to declare a state of emergency. December 31st, 2023 was my line in the sand as to when I stop paying salaries from my personal saving. From 1st January 2024, the farm ONLY pays Salary from what it makes. If nothing is made, no one gets paid. As expected, there was a resignation.
“Attitude is more important than the task, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.” ― W.C. Fields.
The employees make a company. Not just any staff, but the right employees make a successful company. That is why we don't just want any and everyone working for us. We want ONLY those who enjoy working for us and so see it as a privilege to be a part of what we are building and doing.

We are grateful for all the people who have worked with and for us in our first three (3) years of existence. We have learned from each one, and we are getting better by it. You all form the foundation of what we are building.

Our first Farm Workers came mainly from Cotonou, Benin Republic, three of them. We had an Hausa man, but had to let him go, because he spelt trouble to the others. He was not a man of peace.

Our first contracts were monthly, as we got them in the middle of the year. These were hard working fellas, and made a difference with our starting. We wished they came back the following year, after their Christmas break, but they had other things to do with their money.

The second year, 2022, we got a new crew from Cotonou. We had up to seven (7) at a time, but ended the year with a constant four (4). Others dropped off as the year progressed for varied reasons including, health and family issues. These were not as hardworking as those from the first year, but did their own bit.

We made little or nothing from these in the first two years, but were committed to pay them off regardless. A part of the sunk cost of business. It did not come cheap, but it was the seed for the future we desired. And, intent was to apply the lessons learned in the following years.

In our third year, we got monthly labor from Benue State. I was done with the Cotonou arrangement of needing to cater for people for the year and send them off with a motor cycle, without the more than equivalent benefit to the farm. We got good and hardworking hands, but we were not able to ground them in our vision.

2024 has been the year we are fully reaping all the lessons learned from our inception. We seem to have the right combination of Farm Management and Workers who enjoy working for and with us. They are the ones working to get their own people to come work for us.

For this and much more, we are grateful.

The Saint.

#corporateculture #RaiseTheStakes #HumanExperience #humanenergy 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Adsense Footer

Adsense Code Link