Last time, I wrote about feeling a bit off thanks to some mild side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine.

I was happy to take some short term pain for long term gain. I also don’t mind taking one for the team.

The COVID public health mass vaccination program is working on the same principles as the grain industry does when we promote controlling “the green bridge” which is code for self-germinating crop plants (volunteers), that harbour disease or pests that can infect future crops. Volunteers typically germinate in late summer and autumn after a climatic rain event. Wheat stripe rust is one such example that is called a social disease because it is spread by wind-blown spores. Each farmer benefits directly, reducing the source of spread and likelihood of future infection. Because the disease is mobile, the benefit is greater if the majority of growers in a district participate in the control program. It’s generally accepted that the short-term pain of spending time and money controlling the volunteers provides long term gain.

The COVID vaccination program works on the same principles. To get the maximum benefit, we need the majority of the population to participate, so I was happy to roll up my sleeve and take one for the team.

Back on the farm, teams are getting bigger, rather than smaller and distribution of tasks can get tricky if everyone wants to do the fun stuff and no one wants the least preferred tasks. One former CEO and long time colleague worked on the theory that if everyone took their turn in doing some of the unpleasant tasks, then everyone gets more time to do the fun stuff. Whether it be chipping glyphosate resistant ryegrass clumps, cleaning out festering grain from the bottom of a bin, entering paddock records or reconciling accounts, these aren’t likely to be most people’s favourites. 


And it’s not just on the farm, any workplace has its share of mundane tasks that are best shared around for better overall team function and performance. Strong leaders are prepared to do the least preferred tasks, they walk the walk, not just talk the talk. They subscribe to one of My Mums mantra’s


 “It’s not always want you want to do, it’s what you’ve got to do”


How can you take one for your team and contribute to the better good of your workplace as an owner or an employee within agriculture?

Read more about the Team Landscape for Excellent farming in Crops People Money & You The Art of Excellent Farming (and Better Returns).