I’ve repeated this time and again, but I’m going to say it one more time: the favorite part of my job is talking with farm equipment dealers. The dealers I’ve visited with during the first part of this year — from California to Canada and Montana to Iowa — have only reinforced why I’m enjoying this job as much or more than the other three I’ve held since graduating from college nearly 40 years ago — and I’ve liked each one of them very much.
Why I enjoy this as much as I do is because I appreciate their candor and directness. I don’t have to guess where they stand on things. I don’t have to wonder if they agree or disagree with something I’ve written. It’s more than a little obvious.
Nearly all dealers give a lot of credit for their success to the people who grind it out day in and day out in their dealerships, and I believe they’re sincere in the respect that they have for their staffs. But recently I heard a dealer says something I’ve not really heard a boss or business owner say before.
When I asked Brion Torgerson of Torgerson’s, a six-store Case IH and New Holland dealership group in Montana, about his people philosophy, he answered, “I show up every day with one goal in mind. That is to earn the respect of our employees. I look at it as if I work for them, not the reverse.”
I have no doubt whatsoever that he meant exactly what he said. You can read all about the Torgersons in the April/May issue of Farm Equipment.
As I reviewed my notes while writing that story, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us, either as bosses, employees or co-workers, believe that it’s important for our employees, our employers or co-workers to respect us. I’m not talking about fearing the boss or being popular among your employer or co-workers, but about genuine respect on an every-workday basis.
I don’t know how many of you think about such things, but I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve decided I want to adopt Brion Torgerson’s philosophy about my bosses and co-workers. It can only result in an even better place to work than it already is and I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there.