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Too Much Modesty?

Greetings Readers

Today’s news item that claims that modesty is the cultural barrier that is holding New Zealand back, although directed at business entrepreneurship it has relevance in the primary industry.

Professor Howard Frederick an American academic has recently pointed out that NZ has the leadership and has the talent but we are still failing because of modesty about our capability to create an improved economy.

Could this modesty trait be part of the problem in ensuring the dairy merger proceeds? Are the doubters who surfaced late in the merger process not an example of the modesty syndrome – world famous in New Zealand – but participation in the big world is just too scary.

It has long been a weakness of Federated Farmers that their best attribute was to unite members to oppose but as soon as the opportunities surfaced to promote the new, with its contingent responsibilities, support evaporated.

The current indecision in the wool industry is an excellent example where the new structure in particular was defined at great expense but support is now wavering because doubts have arisen as to whether it would be accepted by the market.

A further demonstration of being too modest about intentions perhaps?

The opportunity to theorize or intellectualise about the way things should be, finally has to be tested in a real world. Success or failure something is learned. But without a start nothing can be finished successfully or otherwise..

The culture of modesty may be a carryover from previous times when New Zealander’s attempted and won and rightly earned the right to be modest about there achievements.

But these are different times and being modest while being relatively mediocre invites disaster. As farmers we are not mediocre so why should we allow the structures that we rely on be less than we expect from ourselves.

Good farming




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