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  • cewanderley

Boss vs Leader in the 21st Century


Because of Covid-19, instead of moving to Europe, I ended up at my ranch in Brasil. Until the borders re-open, I will stay here.


My daily routine includes reading to develop my skills; managing my portfolio; developing the Smarter Way business; catching-up with friends; working out every day and taking care of my horses.


A few months ago, I hired a new ranch-hand. He and his wife are a young couple under 30 years old. His job is to manage the fields and help with the horses. She was looking for a job in the nearby town, but they cancelled the position, leaving her unemployed and in need of money.

Trying to help, I asked if she wanted to help in the fields and gardens twice a week until she could find a job. It was a big mistake: she hates the work and tries every excuse not to do the job. Her husband, who already spends half of his day looking at his phone, became very lazy.


As Spring nears, we need to prepare the fields for my animals to graze. Between them, it was taking four times longer than normal. So, I worked with them. Productivity improved fivefold. It surprised them that the ‘old executive’ could grab a shovel and work for eight hours under the sun.

It reminded me of something that I learned in the army: “If an officer cannot do the job of the soldier, he does not have the right to lead.” Giving orders sat at a desk is very easy, but to lead by example and to the job, is another story.


I don’t know whether the couple will last in their jobs. Because they, like many in their generation, believe that they have all the rights, and no obligations.


But I know that my fields will be ready on time, and my horses and sheep will have enough grass to eat.


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