Leadership Reflects Attitude
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Leadership within the agricultural industry is more important now than ever before. We are in a fast and ever changing global society and as leaders in this industry that we all love so much, we have to step up to the plate.
The first step for many to become leaders begins with developing a positive attitude about being a leader. Now, you are probably asking, what does “being a leader even mean?” We all have our own definitions of a leader, leadership, and what it means to be a leader. My answer is that it varies and it is different for everyone. For some of us, it is going to our state or nation’s capital and sharing information with our legislators or serving on state and national boards within our respective associations. For others, it is making day to day decisions and leading a small group of individuals in their personal business to be successful and productive. For me, it is providing opportunities for others in the agricultural, natural resources, and forestry industries to grow and develop, to gain a better understanding of the various issues our state faces, and to take people out of their comfort zone. No matter what it is for you, it starts with having a positive attitude about that specific action or behavior that you seek to perform. Today, this behavior or action I am referring to is in taking on leadership roles and responsibilities.
For those of you that are already stepping into these leadership roles, it is also our responsibility to provide opportunities for others to become leaders. We never want to look back and realize that there is not someone else to step into our roles. As leaders, you can help to develop the positive attitudes needed to build more leaders for our industry through hands-on experiences on the job or within your volunteer organization or association, provide educational opportunities such as giving young leaders opportunities to attend conferences, workshops, or tradeshows, and by opening up new opportunities for up and coming leaders to challenge themselves with you standing at their side in a supportive and mentoring role. We can provide positive leadership experiences to others which lead to the positive attitudes about being a leader for agriculture and in turn, builds for volunteer leaders for our state.
Obviously, this is the simplistic way of looking at developing leaders or being a leader within Georgia’s agricultural industry. It can be much more complex and goes much deeper, but this is the starting point for many to begin taking on new leadership roles and responsibilities. While I do completely agree with the statement that attitude reflects leadership, I first believe that it starts with the statement that Leadership reflects attitude.
Rochelle Strickland is the Director of Leadership Programs within the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication at UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She manages and facilitates the state-wide leadership program, Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture, as well as a national leadership program, LEAD21. For more information about either program, you can contact Rochelle at email@example.com.