Farm4Profit Podcast

Strong Leadership Habits w/ Steve Sukup

Episode Summary

One of the most respected leaders in the agricultural industry sits down with us in Louisville. Steve Sukup the President and CEO of Sukup Manufacturing shares with us some perspective on strong leadership habits that everyone needs to have.

Episode Notes

The habits you have today will shape who you become tomorrow. Get strategic about your habits.

What sets apart great leaders? 

Great leaders are fanatically consistent with a few strategic habits. Great leaders are fanatically consistent at doing the things most of us only do occasionally. 

Habits Great Leaders Have in Common 

The best leaders aren’t always the smartest, hardest working, or best-connected people. The best leaders intentionally commit to strategic habits that produce their desired results. 

  1. The Habit of No Snooze How do you get out of bed each morning?
  2. Do you wake up naturally (with no alarm) ready to attack the day? 
  3. Do you get up after your first alarm? 
  4. Do you wake up to your alarm, hit snooze, wake up again, hit snooze again, and so on?
  5. According to a study done by the University of Notre Dame, 57% of people fit in that third category. 
  6. When you wake up at the right time (with your first alarm or without it,) you’re telling yourself that the first part of your day matters. 
  7. Pro tip: If you want to sleep better, plan out your day the night before. Going to bed with the next day’s lunch, outfits, or meetings already planned will allow your brain to fully rest, leading to higher-quality sleep. 


  1. The Habit of Pre-Deciding The basic principle of the habit of pre-deciding is this: 
  2. Any time you can make a decision ahead of time, make it. 
  3. Any time you can automate a decision, automate it.
  4. Decision fatigue is a very real thing. The more decisions you make in a day, the lower the quality of your decision-making ability So, as often as possible make a decision ahead of time. 
  5. One easy way to do this is by blocking off regular time on your calendar for your most important tasks. 
  6. When you make that decision ahead of time, you’re making it easy to become the leader you need to become. 


  1. The Habit of Doing the Hard-Right In your leadership, you’re always going to face challenges and obstacles. When you face these challenges, you’ll often have two options. The easy-wrong or the hard-right choice. 
  2. You’ll always be tempted to take the easy way out. 
  3. Many leaders avoid the Hard-Right because it will make a difficult situation even more difficult in the short term. 
  4. You’ll never regret doing what’s right, but you’ll often regret doing what’s easy. 


  1. The Habit of You-First Leadership The natural trajectory of leadership is towards self.
  2. I get the credit when things are going well, and I shift the blame when things are going poorly. The habit of You-First Leadership will help you intentionally fight this inclination.
  3. Simon Sinek teaches, “The leaders who get the most out of their people are those who care most about their people.” It really matters that you actually care about people. And that care has to start in your heart before your people feel it in the office. 
  4. But what if you don’t like your team? If you don’t like your team, you’re in one of two situations: 
  5. 1. You have the wrong people. Unless you inherited your team, your team is a combination of what you’ve created and what you’ve tolerated. 
  6. 2. You have the right people, but you haven’t led them well. You might have a capable team, but you haven’t led them to fit the culture, have a strong work ethic, or have passion for the mission. 
  7. Both of these situations are on YOU. 
  8. Side note: You don’t have to like someone to care about them. You can love and respect someone without liking them. If you want to start living with the habit of You-First Leadership, start every interaction with the other person in mind.

Anything else they’d like to add?

What does Success look like to them?