The Nature of Leadership – Part 3 From Hunting to Farming

By Tom Davidson

Are you a hunter or a farmer when it comes to your business ethics!? Do you nurture and cultivate, or do you go for the short term goals!? Find out what these titles mean for you and your company!

Forty percent of newly appointed managers fail in their first 18 months. While a shortage of skills and lack of experience in their new jobs are part of the reason, new managers also fail to make the needed leap in mindset – from hunter to farmer.

Individual contributors are like hunters; they pursue and deliver short-term goals without much focus on what others are doing (i.e., completing their individual project or hitting the numbers). The better they do this, the more the organization benefits from their accomplishments, and the more they are rewarded in their performance reviews, very often leading to promotion.

However, new managers (and even more senior ones) fall short of making the critical mental shift in the understanding of their roles. As opposed to individual contributors, leaders are responsible for the bigger picture, team goals, and developing others. This requires a psychological change in how they approach their work, one that is more akin to farming, the need to plant seeds for the longer term, nurture teamwork, and cultivate their subordinates over time.

What’s your managerial mindset, hunting or farming? How are your new managers coping with the shift? The sooner they get started, the sooner you and your organization will harvest the benefits.

Share this article