Management by Mind Reading - Management by Mind Reading

"Hi there. Jolene Brown here. One of my all-time favorite comedians is Lily Tomlin and she has a funny quote that I think directly relates to those of us in family business. She says you know when I was little I always wanted to be somebody. Now I guess I should have been a little bit more specific. You know what she's saying is that if the expectations are not clear we just might end up someplace else. So last week I was visiting with a wonderful farm family and two of the next generation had the very same complaint. The daughter said "well Jolene I cannot do anything right but I don't even know what I'm supposed to do". And then her brother said "you know Jolene if Dad would just tell me what he expects I'd be glad to do it". And that's when Dad chimed in and he said "well I believe that everybody who works here should exactly know what is expected to them. I should not have to waste my time spelling it out." And that's when I had to chuckle and I said to dad - so dad how is this management by mind reading working for you, and then he started to laugh too. Because what I know in today's environment agriculture is so diverse. Even with those young people that we raise from babies onward, and they're now adults, they have different education, different friendships that may have, different standards and different goals. And they also come from different perspectives along the way. I think it is foolish for me to assume as a manager that everybody else understands what I believe to be right and wrong, or good or bad, or acceptable or unacceptable."

See more in the video below...

Jolene Brown is a farmer, professional speaker, author and champion for the family owned business. She's from West Branch, Iowa, USA, and travels worldwide sharing leading-edge best practices that have the power to increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind. Her passion combined with her fun-filled spirit and valuable information brings humor, hope and helpful ideas to the people of agriculture. Jolene's books, "Holy Crap! I Married a Farmer!" Joy-filled Lessons Connecting Our Sisters in Agricultureand Sometimes You Need More Than a 2x4! How-to-tips to successfully grow a family business are available online at  For more information and to check out her speaking availability, contact her at

Full Rights Consent.  Jolene Brown LLC, West Branch, Iowa, USA, maintains full rights to utilize the content and/or format of all materials submitted by her for the website in any future speaking, writing, audio, video or electronic format.

Copyright © 2018 Jolene Brown, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Share This

You may also like:

This article shows support of the Red Ants Pants Foundation through local beer, sunsets, agriculture, and great music. 


According to the USDA, there are 969,672 women farmers in the Unites States. Let's dive into ways these women are organizing. 


Sarah wasn't impressed with the way her dad's bale processor chopped the hay. See what she did to fix it. [sponsored]


Philippa Joblin, Pip, went from an office job in an insurance company, to Ruapuna in the South Island to help her sister and brother in-law on their farm. [Sponsored]


Ashley Siferd experienced all of the positive energy and learning opportunities goats have to offer when she was very young. Click "read more" to hear her story. 


Growing up on her family’s beef feedlot and cash crop farm as the sixth generation family member - Click "read more" to hear the rest of Darcy's story.


Everywhere you turn, employers are talking about how to manage their Millennial workers and keep them engaged and loyal to their workplace.


It doesn't matter if it's your first restoration project or twentieth, everyone could use a few tips and tricks to help them along the way.


Hi there. Jolene Brown here. One of my all-time favorite comedians is Lily Tomlin and she has a funny quote that I think directly relates to those of us in family business.


Hi there. Jolene Brown here. You can tell by the setting and the sounds that the seasons on the Brown farm have certainly changed. And that means the marathon of harvest has just begun.