“When you’re in an environment of low margin, high volatility, the reactive manager gets wiped out,” explained Virginia Tech’s David Kohl at the recent Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference. “The proactive manager doesn’t hit home runs, but what we are in is an environment of base hits.”
According to Kohl, those base hits look a lot like focusing on the details that farms can manage such as sweating the small stuff every day.
“Manage expectations,” he continued. “That is going to be something that is going to be very key. It’s important to manage the things you can manage and manage around the uncontrollables.”
He went on to utilize another sports analogy — this one about basketball — to flush out this idea. “You’re on the foul line; you’re shooting a foul shot,” he said. “Twenty thousand people are yelling at you. What do you do? You look over the rim, follow through on your fundamentals, and you make 75 to 80 percent of the shots.”
There’s no doubt that today’s dairy manager has the equivalent of 20,000 things yelling for his or her attention at any given time. Kohl described that proactive business person as someone who can realize their general inability to control the White House or trade deals and hone in on the manageables.
“What you can do is focus on those things that you can control in your business. And guess what? It’s not going to work 100 percent of the time, but it’ll work 75 percent of the time. Those odds are in your favor,” he concluded.