The old John Deere tractor an Ohio leadership coach grew up with on his family farm imparted many invaluable lessons.
R. Glenn Ray writes a weekly leadership column in the Marietta Times, a newspaper in East Central Ohio. This week his column expounds the virtues of the tractor, which his father bought when he was 10 years of age in Malaga, also in East Central Ohio. He said that tractor helped teach him some of life's most valuable and useful lessons.
"Like most farm boys, I learned to drive on that old John Deere," Ray writes, noting he started it with a crank, which was potentially hazardous. "This maneuver scared me because once the tractor started, you had to quickly pull it out or you faced a whirling weapon close to your face."
He wrote about how his father drove the tractor while he and his brother rode on the trailer that was hauling cow manure. The brothers' responsibility was to use pitchforks and spread the fertilizer, until their father purchased a manure spreader. Though he did not enjoy shoveling manure, he wrote that lesson stayed with him.
"In most organizations, there are, tough, tedious, nasty, or dangerous jobs that still have to be done," he wrote.