Dr. Nimrod Israely Founder and CEO Biofeed Ltd.,
In countries where the agri-sector is not doing well, I meet farmers, decision-makers, regulators, stakeholders, ministers, and others who are deeply involved. I see the gap between the Present and the Possible, and I ask myself – “what is their story?
What stops them from becoming great farmers, great agri-industry, and paving the way to prosperous economies?“
Part of the answer to that intriguing question lies on the basis of human nature.
We are continuously in competition at all levels; Internal (with ourselves), personal, corporate, and national.
How do you win a competition?
“Easily and simple” you make the best decision and as a result; you become the best in your class.
Society sends us a message that in order to succeed we must be the best, we must be perfect.
Fortunately, we are human. Unfortunately, we are far from being always the Best or Perfect.
We wake up in the morning and tell ourselves that starting tomorrow we will go daily to the gym (first lie). The result – we are not in shape as we imagine or dream to be.
Then we say to ourselves that only this we will consume too many calories (second lie). The result – we are overweight… and still not going to the gym.
And it goes on and on.
Not strong enough to admit who and what we really are, we find ourselves busy lying throughout the day and lives.
Often we develop a Story to justify the unwanted outcome. We first tell it to ourselves, and then to others.
It usually starts with “we can NOT…” or “it is NOT possible…”
We become masters and addicted to lying to ourselves or telling fairy tells to others!
The result is unperfected, underachievement, – even miserable life, as we know it.
A CLASH WITH REALITY
The hard truth is that in this world no one is perfect!
We are expected (and we desire) to be perfect and the best in our field, but too often we are not!
How do we bridge the gap between what we really are and what we want others to think we are? Not easy.
THE STORY WE TELL OURSELVES
We tell ourselves a Story whose purpose is to help us bridge and justify the gap between the expectation of perfection and the reality, which is never so.
This gap between our hopes and dreams of the harsh reality causes us PAIN.
Why is it painful?
Because we nurture a dream, which is a good thing, but when we are unable to achieve it on our time and terms, then we become disappointed, frustrated, and angry.
That pain goes with us wherever we go and whatever we do. It goes away when we achieve our goals or lower our expectations for results and achievements.
THE STORY – In our efforts to ease that pain, we tell ourselves Stories.
Because we don’t like to lie to others nor to ourselves. It is also hard to continuously be unhappy with your performance, so we invent failure justification Stories.
A Story, when told well, provides us with the justification we need for keeping our self-image and honor, by bridging the gap between our present (reality) to our public image, where we are expected to be.
Here is a common Story we tell ourselves –
“I’m good, really good, and really smart. But … under these conditions and at this time, I did what I could best and it is simply impossible to achieve better results than I got already.“
Using such a Story I tell myself that I am good (I am sure my mother would agree). At the same time, I give myself (and later to others) the justification of why I am underachievement; “it is impossible“.
If that sounds familiar, it is because it is human nature to protect ourselves from failure. This is one thing we have in common.
We can tell the same sort of Story to ourselves but just as well to our organizations and countries.
Be careful, leaders are the best of telling Stories.
Some Stories build nations while others destroy them. The second type is far more common and extremely dangerous.
What is the Story of your leader?
What is your Story?
Is your Story reflects the reality as is?
THE OUTCOME – When we start to believe that things are Impossible, then we stop attempts to change or to improve and be better.
That leads us to remain stuck where we are, and even going backward, even as others step forward and advance.
THE STORY WE TELL OTHERS
THE PAIN – Farmers and leaders alike are aware of the fact that farming in their country is lagging and farmers are poor. It hurts.
Therefore, we must come up with a Story to explain that anomaly.
THE STORY – “We are fine. In fact, we are very good. We are a very big/small country suffering dry/wet/desert/rainy conditions. Under such a situation this is very good and the best anyone can hope for”.
• Reality – there is no export of fresh produce from the country for several years. The Story we use to explain it – “we are facing quarantine pest that has no solution. We are working on it and will solve it by next year.”
• Reality – the inability to export fresh produce to premium markets for a premium price. The Story we use to explain it – “we are very happy with what we have, we are satisfied with the local market prices and do not look to increase our income per kg“.
• Reality – farmers are poor, making less than 2/5/10 USD per day. The Story we use to explain it – “our nation and farmers are modest “they accepted” this situation the way it is, and besides, their income is rising by 5% annually“.
Agriculture remains unsuccessful losing business, farmers are poor, the country’s economy is lagging, the future doesn’t look bright, and there is no hope to be The Best.
THE ‘NEW STORY’ WE NEED
We can change our future by stopping to tell ourselves fairy tells and start telling ourselves a DIFFERENT STORY, a NEW TRUE STORY.
At first, it is difficult, but later it is liberating.
In our NEW STORY, we are still not perfect but we are courageous, brave, and ready to face the mirror and see our true selves.
In our NEW STORY, we take responsibility and become the leaders of our future, fearless we state where we are, and courageously we state where we want to be in the future.
Armed with self-confidence, we are aware of what we can complete alone and where we need help from others.
We become strong by acknowledging our strengths and admitting our weaknesses.
Now our NEW STORY sounds very different –
“I know that I am not perfect and I cannot do everything by myself. But that will not restrict me and will not prevent me from achieving my goals. When needed, I will not be intimidated to ask for help“.
Not many are able to articulate such A STORY. Only The Best!
It may look easy but it requires high self-awareness, self-confidence, vision, and the ability to analyze and understand your own status as well as your well-defined goals and targets, downsides, and the support you will need down the road to achieve your desired and planned results.
Have you been able to formulate a vision, share it with others, and declare where you need help and support?
Once you will do so, you are 50% on your way to achieving your goals, and maybe even become one of The Best!
I started out as a fruit grower farmer. But even as a farmer, 30 years ago, I first declared my goals and targets.
“Through the production of high-quality added-value branded produce, grown in an eco-friendly manner, to enable me and other farmers to market fresh produce to premium markets, hence to increase our income per kg.“
Note, years later I used it as the basis for Biofeed’s vision.
To market my fruits as Quarantine Pest-Free and Chemical-Free Produce, I knew I had to come up with an effective non-spray control solution for my #1 pest – fruit flies.
It happed that fruit flies are the #1 group of pests for millions of other farmers!
As at that time there was no effective fruit fly control solution, and in purpose to achieve my goal, I had to develop a new solution all by myself.
This is why I invested 15 years in academic research, and 20 years ago I founded Biofeed.
You see, to achieve success I had to articulate – my Vision, my Status, and what I need to bridge and achieve in order to get to “the promised land” and make my dream come true.
Then there is the hard work. Day in and day out, I had to look in the mirror and tell myself the true Story.
For the past 20 years, my team knows that we are good, we are making progress, but we still need to get much better to reach our ultimate goals.
Not telling nice Stories full of lies to myself, my team, and my board when things went sour was hard and painful. At times, unbearable.
It is only thanks to telling the TRUE STORY as it is, ugly or not, that Biofeed was able to bridge the chasm, and find a NEW WORLD, our “promise land”.
Today the future is here. My vision has become the reality – tested many times, in use in many places – delivering desired and planned results.
The above vision is MINE. Now it is time that you will define and hold your own vision and path in life.
You do it by first articulate your Vision, your Current State, and what you need to do in order to bridge that chasm and get to your “promised land“.
Declare your story aloud, and be proud of yourself of being a true leader, honest and courageous when you stand up and say, “I am not perfect, but I improve each day. This is my goal and I will not rest until I achieve it“.
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King declared out load –
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today“.
He wasn’t afraid of failing, he was afraid of people not knowing his dream, as well as not understanding what it is going to takes to reach it.
He offered to us to share his dream and together to achieve the goal of all man equality.
Martin Luther King was a brave man.
J.F. Kennedy knew that to achieve ambitious goals you need to share it with the entire nation. On September 12, 1962, he stood in front of the entire world when he gave his speech of “We choose to go to the moon…” (link).
J.F. Kennedy was a brave man too.
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Today, part of Biofeed’s process when contacting with a new business partner or a significant customer is to understand his Story; his vision and mission.
What we do requires long-term commitment, trust, and respect.
In Biofeed, we believe that by gaining a better mutual understanding of each other we will be able to cooperate and help each other in a better way reaching our mutual goals, from a position of mutual trust and respect.
We love working with visionary people that wish to bridge the gap between their present and their future by telling a Story that is both true to the present as it is full of vision.
A change starts with the personal courage and commitment of a leader “to look in the mirror”, and tell himself his true story; instead of an imaginary Story that everybody would like to hear but is far from reality. FORWARD TO A FRIEND