Sunny day on the farmPhoto Credit: Jim Moran via Compfight cc


Farmers may be in the toughest business: Their supplier is the weather. (Talk about unpredictable.)


My dad didn’t talk spreadsheets or contracts. As a farmer, he was successful because he had wisdom and he acted on it. I remember a particular morning when, as a teenager, I had overslept – and not for the first time. This meant that the livestock were delayed in their feeding.


Dad wasn’t happy. That morning (okay, it was noon), he pulled me aside and said, “Son. Three trees make a row. And you just planted a straight line in a direction we’re not going to go.”


I’ll spare you the consequences I suffered. I will say that I learned this that day: I was trending towards failure, and that wasn’t good enough for Dad – or me. I got the message. The livestock were fed on time from that point forward.


It’s easy to make excuses. The rationalizing of poor performance comes easy. (There are so many reasons why we can’t succeed.) The tolerance for “we almost made it” seduces like a warm blanket in a frigid head wind…offered by those who also didn’t make it.


But what’s the trend? If I don’t exercise tonight, nor tomorrow night, nor the next…the truth is: I’m not a person who exercises. The same goes for high performance: If I didn’t deliver the results I committed to today, nor yesterday, nor the day before…well, three trees do make a row.


What does it mean for us to take greater responsibility for our track record, for the results we’ve delivered so far? And what’s necessary for us to begin a greater trend of success?


There are so many reasons why we can succeed.


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