Category: Labor Effectiveness

A True Story About A Real Manager

About 15 years ago I met an absentee owner who was responsible for a family ranch that was losing money. It had lost between $200,000-$300,000 year after year for a long time. Over those years she’d made several threats to the two managers that if things didn’t turn around, the family would have to sell […]

Read More

4 Reasons Why Increasing Weaning Weights May Not Increase Profit

I gotta stop reading this stuff. A recent article in a self-proclaimed “progressive” magazine claimed that July deworming was an often-overlooked opportunity to increase weaning weight and therefore profit.   According to the article, deworming can increase weaning weights by at least 30 pounds at a cost of $7.85 per cow/calf pair. With a market […]

Read More

What is Sweat Worth?

Most family ranches are subsidized with free, or underpaid, family labor. Sometimes the difference between what family members get and what it would cost to hire someone else to do the work they do is made up with the promise or expectation of sweat equity. But sweat is not a recognized form of currency and […]

Read More

What Are You Worth?

I often ask audiences at schools and workshops if anyone pays themselves what it would cost to replace themselves. Very few hands go up and those that do are usually attached to the arms of Ranching For Profit School grads. Many justify not paying themselves a fair wage claiming that their ranch isn’t profitable enough […]

Read More

Records Are A Waste Of Time

Some people think that records are THE key to managerial success. Not me. I think most records are a waste of time. Records give us data. We need information. It takes analysis to turn data into useful information.   The problem is we spend 90% or more of our time collecting the data and only […]

Read More

It’s Hard To Find Good Help …

… but it is even harder to find a good boss. I often hear employers complain that it is hard to find good help. I rarely hear them ask how they can be better bosses. Personally, I think most people want to do a good job. I don’t think employees want to be inefficient or […]

Read More

Hiring Good People Isn’t Enough

Good people? What’s that supposed to mean? Compared to what? Bad people? With the exception of the Hillside Strangler and Jack the Ripper, I’m hesitant to label very many people as “bad.” I’d like to think that nearly everyone is mostly good. Almost all of us want to be moral and responsible.  The real problem […]

Read More

Coming Home to Work

If you have a family ranch, whether you know it or not, you have a family employment policy. At least your kids think you do. In the absence of a formal, written policy, kids often grow up with the expectation that regardless of their education, experience or talent, there will be a role for them […]

Read More

When is a Dollar Not a Dollar?

Dan Airely, a behavioral economist at Duke University conducted a silly experiment with serious implications. The experiment involved money, Coca Cola and college students. Dr. Airely stocked dorm room refrigerators with one of two things. He put a six pack of Coke in some. In others, he placed a paper plate with six crisp one […]

Read More

You Might Be A Manager If…

Most “ranch managers” aren’t managers. They don’t do the work of a manager, they don’t produce the results a manager would produce and they aren’t paid what a manager would get paid. The result isn’t just poor management. Most American ranches aren’t managed at all! Every business has three levels of issues. The first set […]

Read More