A dairy-farmer-turned-successful-entrepreneur writes to his descendants about lessons learned in life and business.
Krebs has a deep appreciation for the teachings of his ancestors. Time-tested on harsh Wisconsin farms, these dictums guided him from the barn to the boardroom, their wisdom never wavering whether the project at hand was a stroll through a junkyard or the leadership of a corporate team. Filled with inimitable advice on teamwork, problem solving and loyalty, Krebs’ book ably relates how working on a threshing crew or as part of a barn raising informs a successful voyage in all facets of life—and is actually more illuminating than what can be learned at corporate seminars. He breaks his chapters down into sections with practical headings such as “Always Dress for the Job,” “The Need for a Positive Outcome Creates Courage” and “Americans Should Buy American.” Toward the end of the text, in the midst of a touching final chapter, the central metaphor of the book is defined—a barn is a place of shelter and comfort, but the real reward is not the barn itself, rather it’s the lessons and relationships that are forged in the building process. The simple, self-effacing text and the lessons gleaned from his relatives and from his career as a communications entrepreneur amount to a love letter to his family, past and future (superficially aimed at general readers, Krebs acknowledges that his book is truly intended for his grandchildren and their children). Thus, this book may not appeal to all readers, particularly those who have no interest in 19th and 20th century farming practices. But for Krebs’ descendants, it will be a wonderful treat from a thoughtful relative.
Wisdom that spans time and place, from an author perfectly suited to dispense it.