Have you been asked this question before? Are you like a farmer or a hunter? A farmer is one where you will take the time to plough the land, sow the seeds, fertilise and wait for the plant to grow and then harvest it. A hunter on the other hand is one where you will track a target, size up the target and then seize upon it. As an example, these 2 metaphors have been used to describe people in sales and marketing roles.
What are the similarities of a farmer and a hunter?
- A clear desired outcome. Both know what they want to achieve at the end of the process.
- Have a strategy and action plan in place and execute it. In order to achieve their goals, both need to have a strategy on how to make it happen.
- Have to be skilled and competent in what they are doing. Need to have the know-how to be successful.
- Need to be patient and persevere as they wait for the harvest.
What are the differences of a farmer and a hunter?
- Mindset and perspective. A farmer looks forward to a big harvest while a hunter’s target is very specific.
- Approach in getting to the end result. A farmer needs to prepare the land first before sowing the seeds in order to achieve a good harvest while a hunter needs to identify the target and then track it until its time to close the deal.
- Time frame. One might take longer than the other hence having the right expectations of time frame is critical.
- Personalities. Clearly there is a need for different personalities and attributes in each role that gives it an edge. Myers-Briggs profiling have indicated that some profiles are better suited for certain roles.
I feel that sometimes we focus far too much on the differences that we do not appreciate the similarities and therefore face unnecessary conflicts as a result. To put this into a workplace perspective, it is very common that there are conflicts between the sales and marketing teams. Most of the time, these conflicts are just because of differences that I have mentioned above – perspectives and approaches along with time frame of when things happen. If we focus instead on the similarities e.g. a common goal, trust in the other’s skills in performing their role and agree on the time line of execution, these potential conflicts can be minimised.
So which one are you? Each with their strengths and rewards. Each with their unique traits and characteristics that will make them successful in their roles. The questions are:
Do you know which one you are? How would you continue to develop either one of these approaches? How can you be a better farmer or hunter? Can you be both a farmer and a hunter? How can both the farmer and hunter work together for the good of the group. After all, we don’t just want to eat meat or vegetables all the time, right?