Promar’s Neil Adams said research had shown more successful farm managers were more committed and better at teamwork and collaboration
Personality is key to good farm management according to Neil Adams, agri-business consultant at Promar International.
The most profitable farm managers were also the most conscientious and the best at teamwork and collaboration.
Speaking at IAgrM’s National Farm Management Conference in London on November 23, Mr Adams said top quarter performing farmers had a higher emotional-social intelligence score.
"High ESI farmers tended to be friendly, engaging, welcoming and proud of their team.
"They were open to influences, including from non-farmers, much more into business planning for the long term horizon."
Top performing farm managers were also more likely to have a better work life balance including sport and hobbies outside of farming.
40 dairy farmers were accessed and scored on core competences including leadership skills and developing others.
Mr Adams said farm managers were highly emotionally controlled and highly independent minded in comparison to the general management population.
Anthony Hyde, a farm consultant, pointed to examples of productivity around the world and questioned if ‘being nice’ was the right way to do business.
"The Chinese business way is not a nice way. We in the UK tend to be rather nice about doing well," he said.
Mr Adams said people should not ignore cultural differences.
"The evidence is you can be a nice person and be successful."
Eddehard Herrmann, farmer and manager of large co-op farms in Germany, also spoke about personality as a success factor.
He said research from the co-operative farms across Germany showed ’personality has a measurable influence’.
He highlighted key qualities for farm managers such as commitment and discipline.
"Apart from weather and prices, 62.2 per cent of managers agreed the most important thing is manager performance," he said.
"The majority of farm managers think performance is based on personality rather than wage levels or qualifications.
"Maybe we do not focus enough on personality," he said.