Penny Clark-Hall

These words pack some punch – just like their owner. Sir Graham Henry gave one of the best talks I’ve ever had the privilege of listening to at the Effluent and Environment Expo in November.

A straight talker with a quick and dry wit, Graham drew parallels between his coaching successes, failures and challenges to the primary sector’s social licence struggles. His lessons learned and shared were that surviving and thriving comes down to our mental strength and capacity to change and adapt.

I’m going to elaborate a bit on what he said because there was so much great stuff that connected so well with how we earn our social licence. Good leaders bring those struggling in your team with you by showing them what good looks like and giving them the space to learn.

Jana Hocken also spoke about how we interpret information and instructions differently, which is relevant here because if we don’t show people what good looks like then we will get a plethora of different interpretations of what Good Management Practice is.

The old extension problem where resources are tight, so we send out pamphlets and hold a field day here and there and hope that everyone picks it up. If this was the All Blacks we might invest and focus our resources a bit better into helping the weakest links lift their game.

Having a clear why that everyone can get onboard with was another powerful tool Graham used – GOAT – to be the ‘Greatest of all time’ was what drove the All Blacks to turn it around. Not bad, before some of you say we already are – that mentality will get us nowhere.

To be the greatest you need humility and to be a little bit obsessed, so you are constantly pushing the boundaries. Don’t be afraid of change – but excited about being the best you/we can be.

Finally, don’t listen to the haters.

If you need help to visualise what good looks like there is an army of agribusinesses and rural professionals who would love to help you. We’re all one team.