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The Acceptance Speech Concept

Many of our clients struggle with the idea of celebrating where they have got to, as the truly progressive are always looking for the next achievement. In a sense, I have been responsible for fostering a perpetual state of unhappiness within clients, as we always strive for more. But everyone must take the opportunity to stop, acknowledge and celebrate how far they have come.

And so, I came up with the idea of the Acceptance Speech Concept. Most of us will never win an award in our careers that requires us to make an acceptance speech. The sort of speech where you get a chance to thank everyone that has helped you get to where you are today. In fact, few people ever actually stop to think about who those people are, and how profound their impact may have been on your future direction and success.

So, who would be on your list to thank, and why? And perhaps more importantly, do they have any idea that you still hold their impact in such high regard? Have you ever said thank you?

Take it further. Who would have you on their list to thank? We talk a lot about leadership, and many are intimidated by the thought of “having to be a leader”. So many of you already are leaders, you just don’t know about it. It could be as simple as a single conversation that you have had with someone that had a profound impact on them. You just don’t know about it. But you may be in their acceptance speech.

So here is mine…

I have a lot of people to thank for my journey to this point. My Grandfather Theo had a profound impact on me at a young age. I just wanted to be him. A farmer. As a city kid, he lit a fire inside me that is responsible for much of my passion today. By age 2 that fire was well alight. Unfortunately I never had the chance to tell him and truly thank him.

My Aunties, Uncles and a big swag of cousins and second cousins put up with me every school holidays. Particular mentions go to Barry, Peter, Ken, and Marion. They were all instrumental in helping me get on farm experience as a young kid.

Grant & Heather Austin of Ceres, and their farm Manager Cam Kendall gave me an opportunity over a number of years to develop my knowledge and skills on farm while I was at Uni. This included the responsibility of running the sheep and cattle operation for a period of time while Cam was out of action. Grant taught me that farming is a business, and that everything needed to be well justified. A great lesson for an 18 year old.

Robert Ford gave me a chance and took me on at Landmark within the merchandise department. This gave me the chance to develop my animal health and nutrition knowledge further. But most of all he taught me about marketing rather than selling. How the way that a product is presented, or its placement, can influence buying decisions. This has been invaluable in my progression, in understanding the importance of how something is presented to people. Even if it is only an idea, concept, or piece of science.

Rowan & Colin Peel took on a young and relatively inexperienced guy to run the livestock side of their operation. They allowed me to make mistakes, learn, and rapidly develop the sheep enterprise. I couldn’t possibly know what I do now, and provide the advice I do now, without that opportunity.

Charley de Fegely & Mike Stephens, but particularly Charlie for seeing a consultant in an over enthusiastic young farm manager. Without Charlie’s persistence and help I would never have got the opportunity in the first place.

Ken Solly for taking me under his wing from the first day I met him. He had no reason to have to do it. There was no business advantage for him. He is just simply a great person who loves helping and mentoring young people. He taught me so much about consulting, about people, and about work life balance. A lot of the time he wouldn’t have even known that he was passing on knowledge. I have just learnt so much from him.

Jenko and Scott for helping Achieve Ag find its way in the world. Simply two great people, who value enormously.

In my job, I also get the great advantage of learning from clients as much as they learn from me. There is a big swag of them that should be in here too. In all reality though, they all contribute, so it would be unfair to single out individuals in that case.

To my Mum and Dad. They obviously played a big role in making all of this possible. More than anything they have had to put up with my farming pursuits from a young age. From stringing rope fences up around the back yard as a kid in my imaginary farm, to leasing 4 acres and running cattle at the age of 14. I also started a farmhand “business” at 14 and made them help with letterbox drops and marketing material. Incidentally it was those efforts that got me the job with Grant & Heather and started a snowball rolling. Their list of impacts is too long for here, but includes passing on knowledge of accounting, small business, real estate, and a general belief that opportunities come to those that are prepared for them.

To my brothers and best mates, you have done so much for me over the years. From throwing business ideas around, to simply talking mindless rubbish over a few beers or playing guitar. It has all been bloody important.

And finally to my wife. I often describe Narelle as the one that keeps the wheels on. She has taught me that stress is a mindset. Easier said than done, but there is no doubt that she has significantly changed the way that I deal with stress and pressure. She has also helped (majorly) bring three kids into the world. A chance for my passion for agriculture to carry into another generation if they are interested (the signs are good early!).

I have been very lucky to have had so many people involved in my progress to this point in my career, and yet many of them wouldn’t have any idea that they have had such a profound impact. Until now. THANK YOU!

So who are you going to thank in your acceptance speech?

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