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Can A Farmer Learn To Hunt?

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We are often asked by our clients whether you can move a Shepherd or Farmer in Business Development to a Hunter or Warrior. It’s important to understand that making this shift involves much more than the level of individual you call on or what products or services you offer. It requires a fundamental shift of thinking from your psychological comfort zone to dealing with the unknown. Another way to explain it is that it requires a shift from predominately left-brained thinking to right-brained thinking. If you look at our model of the 12 Core Competencies of Business Development, the shift to Hunter or Warrior is moving from what you do to understanding who you are and what you know.

The left-brained competencies of goal setting, planning, systems and skills married with a foundation of business and technical knowledge is more than sufficient for the Shepherd or Farmer in the role of Business Development. To make the shift to the Hunter/Warrior requires a right brain shift to better knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.


To be successful as a Hunter/Warrior, you must understand the importance of leadership and character and be anchored in your principles, values and ethics. Business Development is about being purpose-driven in your role of serving others and helping the client get their problems solved whether or not they purchase the solution from you.


Hunters/Warriors face rejection and failure daily and are required to deal with unknown customers and solutions. To do this, they must separate their role performance from their self-worth. This is the only way they will be able to take the necessary risks to fail, learn and risk again. Business Development requires a mastery of self in that you have to learn your psychological limitations and then overcome them. BD also requires an understanding of behavioral psychology and how to apply it in relation to yourself and how you interact with others. In order to establish yourself as a trusted resource, you need to learn how to psychologically align yourself with your prospected customer and focus on truly understanding their issues and problems.


The desire and ability to shift from the predominately left-brained perspective of Business Development exhibited by Shepherds/Farmers to a right-brained perspective necessary for Business Development hunting, does not come naturally. It takes motivation, education, study and risk taking. Personal and professional growth isn’t a free education. Only when we take risks by getting outside of our psychological comfort zone and challenging ourselves, do we grow. We perform in our roles, Business Development or otherwise, consistent with how we have learned to see ourselves as individuals.


It is the mastery of the BE & KNOW competencies of Business Development that makes the “DOING” easier.



© 2014 MBDi. All rights reserved.

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