Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Night on the Mat - Effective Supervision

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting a farm I oversee. The plan was to come back that same evening. However, the farm manager was unavoidably absent. He went to get some suckers in Ondo state. He tried to persuade me and my partner to go back to Lagos. We however refused to give up on achieving our objective to the farm settlement. We quickly informed our family about the new development and justified our need to stay the night. The manager on arriving at 9pm was shocked and surprised to meet us. He even attempted to convince us to go to Lagos that night. He then asked us the almighty question. Where are you guys going to sleep? My partner without hesitation mentioned “the car”. Perplexed the manager explained the security risk of doing so. He finally got us to sleep on a mat in a room with poor ventilation. What a night. Mosquitoes, heat etc. The last time I slept on a mat was 10 years ago. We survived! We eventually got to inspect the farm land of over 20 hectares. We were also able to make new friends within the farming community and get valuable insights and ideas for free. The farm Manager also learnt a lesson; these guys drive themselves harder than they drive him. We are determined to make a success of our agric project even if it requires sleeping on a mat or not sleeping at all. I look forward to visiting the farm next month.
Lessons Learnt: • Money does not drive a business, effective supervision does. • Employees will only work hard to the extent to which they think they are stakeholders. • Things don’t always turn out the way it is planned on paper. • The reward from business is not just profit but fulfillment from loving what you do.

Thursday, June 07, 2012