On Hunters and Farmers


Not so long ago we spoke to some of our high flying managers and suggested they take a change to a high profile & challenging assignment, which had great strategic significance to the company. Success in such an assignment would mean a career boost. To our surprise none of these high fliers wanted this assignment. This was worrisome and thought provoking .Why would a manager not like to take up an assignment where clearly the Sn Management focus was going to be soo high.
A hunter would have taken to this challenge with alacrity, a farmer would hesitate. Farmers tend to till and toil on their plot of land, day in and day out .From their efforts come rich harvests , food for the family , cash flows and so on .Come harvest time and the celebrations of plenty is the motivation for the next season .We couldn’t do very much if we didn’t have large farming lands, investments in fertilizers , high yield seeds and productivity tools .We also need good knowledge of the weather conditions , the market place and the knowledge and experience of the land and crops.
A hunter thrives on challenge .He heads off from time to time, in search of new pastures and game. He often comes back empty handed and some times with a successful kill that the entire tribe celebrates to the thunderous beating of drums, wine and dance. And when the time is right he sets off again some times alone and some times in a group, to look for fresh game. The hunters are the ones who expand territory and ward off invaders. They are not necessarily the best of friends or the most dependable but all tribes need them for their survival. The hunters are not a superior bunch to the farmers .Each have their distinct roles and responsibilities .We need both hunters and farmers
Do we have the right mix? Do we recognize them appropriately for that which is their due, each in their own way? Do we mistake hunters with farmers and vice versa? Is our recruitment aimed at the right mix? Do we manage hunters and farmers well? Do we offer to a farmer the task of a hunter and pick a hunter to do a farmer’s job? I know our team has miles to go in several of these areas and so I guess would be with your teams. Do write in with your views.

Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

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