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Fortune 500 my eye!

Progressive Forage Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 02 April 2021

I’ve been reading books lately that promise to share the secrets Fortune 500 companies use to be and stay successful.

The authors have certainly covered a lot of ground – what board meetings should look like, how to fire CEOs, how to build company culture, how to customize the user experience, how to give customers what they want, when to invest in new avenues and when to hold the line. I’ve read a plethora.

But, not one single book has mentioned the fact that you can plan and strategize all you want, but one bum lamb on a bottle will own your life and you will no longer be in charge of a company, a product division, a farm, a magazine, a personal life or anything else until that bum lamb gets fed – every four hours (and there are six of those feeding times per day, just in case you didn’t do the math).

Here is some of the advice these “we have all the answers” books give:

1. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Have you ever tried to lead a lamb? They don’t lead well. What they will do is wind themselves around your legs and trip you and nibble at your pockets. They don’t do this out of affection – they’d nibble your very innards just to get the next bottle. I may be in management mode, but I’d be a whole lot more frustrated if I was in leadership mode.

2. “Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.” Bull-pucky. Positioning that bottle is paramount to getting that lamb fed in under eight minutes. Anyone who says differently is off their rocker.

3. “When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity.” So, you’re saying I should creatively run a pipeline out to the lamb’s pen and just pour the formula into it as I stand on my house deck? I dunno, creativity sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

4. “If you’re not keeping score, you’re just practicing.” Oh, I’m keeping score alright. It’s lamb 24, me 0. How is that not practicing?

Fortune 500 or no, with a bum lamb in your life, their advice is absolutely useless. I’ve turned my life around for this 25-pound black ball of starving bleat. I don’t even own him, but he definitely owns me. What I can’t figure out is: I don’t exercise regularly, why would I feed a lamb regularly? I don’t eat regularly, but he gets fed by the clock? I don’t do hardly anything regularly – even write, edit and all that other stuff I’m paid to do – so how did one bum lamb get it figured out?

I don’t know, but there it is. I am no longer reading about board rooms, acquisitions, mergers and stock splits, hiring the right people, containing costs and market shares; instead, I find myself searching for articles on “why my bum lamb’s poop doesn’t firm up.” I’ve sunk to a whole new low. Maybe I should write a book.  end mark

Lynn Jaynes
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