Are You Ready for Harvest Season?

October 18, 2018 | Loraine Hardin

Loraine Hardin, CEO, Hardin & Associates, LLC

In the Heartland a very common conversation this time of year relates to harvesting the fields of corn and soybeans. For farmers it is the time when all the planning, preparation and hard work come together. They know exactly what needs to be done to capitalize on their business, and their only question is, “When will the weather cooperate so I can get the job done?”

For a leader in a business not driven by a growing cycle, the four seasons do not as clearly highlight the activities that need to take place in order for the organization to grow and be profitable. One season can easily bleed into the next, and the leader can find him/herself on autopilot with no intentional checkpoints.  

Companies with a fiscal year coinciding with the calendar year will find fall is an excellent time to reap the learnings and plant new seeds by refreshing plans for the coming year. Sometimes when leaders hear this they groan because “seriously…there are way too many things to get done to finish the year, and there is no time to spend on planning.” When there is too much going on to take time “to work on the business,” it is exactly the time “to work on the business.”

There is excellent news for any skeptic out there. Refreshing plans does not have to be complex, nor does it have to be onerous. Taking a simple approach and spending time as a leadership team outlining, discussing and agreeing upon just five things will pay dividends.

The 5 things are:

  1. What are your revenue and profit targets and the key measurables for the next year?
  2. What are the 3-7 goals that must be accomplished in the coming year to achieve #1, and who on the team is accountable for each one?
  3. What are your revenue and profit targets and the key measurables for the coming quarter (90 days)?
  4. What are the 3-7 goals that must be completed in the coming quarter (90 days) that will lead to achieving the quarterly and annual targets, and who is accountable for each one?
  5. How will you hold people accountable to deliver on the goals?

There are many more components that can be, and over time, need to be reviewed and addressed in refreshing your plans. But, with these five questions, a leader activates a discipline; a system that is simple, practical and most importantly, assures that everyone on the leadership team is 100 percent on the same page.

Loraine Hardin is a professional EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer. If you would like a free copy of the book Traction or have questions, please email Loraine at