Learners With Top 10 Qualities

by Dallas Mount

ranching for profit students

We have just finished a spectacular collection of Ranching for Profit Schools. Since this past December we have conducted 7 RFP schools that each had an average attendance of 50 amazing participants. Hands down the quality of the participants makes for a good school. We are so fortunate to work with outstanding participants that I wanted to share my list of the top 10 qualities these folks share:

  1. They believe that ranching (and agriculture in general) can and should be profitable.
  2. They believe that by making their business more profitable it will create a better life for them, their families, and more opportunities to give back to their communities
  3. They are knowledge seekers, they understand that the more we learn about a subject, the more we realize how much we don’t know and how fascinating it is!
  4. They know that for any business to be successful into the future it must challenge the status quo. As Edward Deming said, “You don’t need to change, your survival is not mandatory” 
  5. They ask really good questions. Asking the right question is much more important than having the right answers.  
  6. They realize that the answer is in the team. When we as instructors are at our best, we throw the question out to the group which allows us to tap into the collective wisdom of the participants.
  7. They realize there isn’t a recipe. No one has a magic recipe that works to make all ag operations  profitable. What we do have is a process where you can discover your unique solutions to create the business and the life you want. 
  8. They realize all solutions that really matter, start with people. We can fix the ecology and the business will still fail. We can fix the economics and the business will fail. But, when we build a business that serves a purpose which is clear, valuable and shared; now we can attract and retain talent, related to us or not and the business will endure.
  9. They are willing to be vulnerable. No meaningful change happens in humans without vulnerability.
  10. They took action. Creating time to work on yourself and your business doesn’t happen by accident. Everyone is busy. Attending RFP or a similar professional improvement event takes intentional dedication to improving one’s craft. As Stephen Covey asks, “have you ever been too busy cutting wood to stop to sharpen the saw?”

I understand that these qualities don’t come naturally to all folks, but I believe these qualities are important in creating a successful business. My advice to developing these qualities is to find time each week to do something that will expand your business skills. Signing up for our free First Steps program is a good place to start and our YouTube channel is full of resources. If you have ideas to share about how to develop quality skills, drop them in the comments below.

2 Responses to “Learners With Top 10 Qualities”

February 08, 2023 at 8:51 am, David Pratt said:

Thanks Dallas. Great observations … I’ve got one more … two ears, one mouth … use them in that proportion. I don’t learn anything when I speak … I learn when I listen.


February 12, 2023 at 7:36 am, Walt Ruben said:

Great to acknowledge this aspect of events. Willingness to share knowledge to help others will be key in reshaping successful agriculture futures.


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