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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Communiqué March 14, 2012

Speed of Trust – 13 Behaviors of High-Trust Leaders

-from Keith Smith, associate vice president and director, OSU Extension

Trust is “confidence born of the character and the competence of a person or an organization” (per Stephen M.R. Covey in his book The Speed of Trust). Like Covey, I believe using high-trust behaviors leads right back to others being able to trust individuals and the organization for which they work. In other words, trust follows trustable behavior.

A significant part of trust is being clear about expectations, and I want to be really clear about my expectations of each person in this organization. I know – and expect – that all of our Extension employees will be totally professional on the job, think in terms of how what they do might affect or benefit the whole organization, and then act accordingly.

I also "trust" that everyone will read The Speed of Trust and review how you personally incorporate these 13 high-trust behaviors into your professional life. People may believe what you say, but they’ll believe it more when you act like you say you will. As the old saying goes…“Actions speak louder than words.” Behavior matters; and consistent behavior is especially important. It’s not enough to do something once; others must see you continually behave in a manner that demonstrates your intent. Remember, we tend to judge ourselves by our intent, we tend to judge others by their behavior (page 76).

As Covey says, the 13 high-trust behaviors are powerful because they are based on proven principles, they grow out of the four cores of credibility, they are actionable, and they are universal (page 126). Be sure to read the examples that Covey gives regarding deposits to and withdrawals from trust accounts. He also discusses how the 13 behaviors require a combination of character and competence.

We’ll take a closer look at each of these high-trust behaviors during the year:

  • Talk straight – be honest.
  • Demonstrate respect – genuinely care for others.
  • Create transparency – tell the truth in a way that people can verify.
  • Right wrongs – make things right when you’re wrong.
  • Show loyalty – give credit freely.
  • Deliver results – establish a track record of results.
  • Get better – continuously improve.
  • Confront reality – address the tough stuff directly.
  • Clarify expectations – disclose and reveal expectations.
  • Practice accountability – hold yourself and others accountable.
  • Listen first – listen before you speak.
  • Keep commitments – do what you say you’re going to do.
  • Extend trust – demonstrate a propensity to trust. 

North Central Leadership Conference April 30 - May 2

The North Central Leadership Conference will be held April 30-May 2 in Oakbrook, Illinois. The registration deadline is April 6. 

The theme of the conference is “Leadership – Moving at the Speed of Change.” Attendees will have the opportunity to refine their leadership skills, share best practices and build networks with colleagues. OSU Extension professionals are encouraged to attend the conference.

OSU Extension is providing 30 $250 registration scholarships for the conference. The Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership will sponsor 20 of the scholarships, and ESP will sponsor 10 of the scholarships. The scholarships are available on a first come, first-served basis. As soon as the 30 scholarships have been awarded to attendees, the OSUE system will be notified that the scholarships are no longer available. *As of March 16, two scholarships are still available.

Application Process – register for the conference online using your own chart field, and the scholarship funding will be transferred by the Business Office after you have attended the conference and submitted your expense report. When you register for the conference, also send an e-mail to Cheryl Buck ( with your chart field information and T number (if available) so we can track how many scholarships are being used. Mention “North Central Leadership Conference” in the subject of your e-mail.

The conference will be hosted by University of Illinois Extension, and sponsorship is being provided by Ohio State University Extension, Michigan State University Extension, and Purdue Extension. Schedule, registration and hotel information are posted online at

Bus Ride to NCLC - Provided By Gist Chair Funds

For those who have registered to attend the North Central Leadership Conference, Keith has offered to pay the bus expense for up to 47 passengers through the Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership endowment funds. The bus will leave Columbus the morning of April 30 and return the afternoon of May 2. If you haven’t already contacted Amy Fovargue ( that you would like to ride the bus, please let her know as soon as possible.

National Outreach Scholarship Conference – Call for Proposals

The call for proposals is now open for the 2012 National Outreach Scholarship Conference to be held September 30-October 3. The conference will explore engaged scholarship and practice that advance the theme “Partner. Inspire. Change.” Proposals are sought for research and evidenced-based practice that advance engaged scholarship and practice through research findings, innovative design and partnership, community/institutional impact, curriculum, policy, service-learning, civic engagement, and in other ways. The proposal deadline is April 11. Visit to submit a proposal or for more information. This year's event is hosted by the University of Alabama.

Educator and Extension Faculty Listings Available On-Line

Updated lists of A&P educators and Extension faculty are located in the policy handbook under promotion and tenure. This will allow those seeking promotion to see whom to request to do their peer teaching evaluations.

OSUE Administrative Cabinet – 4 - Year Review Update

Four-year reviews were recently completed for several members of the OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet. Garee Earnest, Bev Kelbaugh, Jack Kerrigan, Brian McClain, and Ken Martin have each been reappointed for four years. Please congratulate each of them on their reappointment.

Lee is Named Vice President for Outreach and Engagement

Valerie Lee, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer, has accepted the additional role of vice president for Outreach and Engagement, effective immediately. While this is not a merger of the two units, the roles have been combined under Lee’s leadership to leverage her broad academic experience to expand the reach of our faculty’s expertise more thoroughly into the community.

For 21 years, Dr. Lee has served as an award-winning faculty member, department chair, and administrative leader at Ohio State. As vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion, she is responsible for: management of educational pipeline, pathway, and outreach programs for nine Ohio urban districts; promotion of recruitment and retention of under-represented, first-generation, and low-income students; oversight of the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male and the Frank W. Hale, Jr., Black Cultural Center; and coordination of national conferences and community projects, among other responsibilities.

Until earlier this year, the Office of Outreach and Engagement was led by Joyce Beatty, who left the University to become a candidate to represent Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. As Ohio State’s Outreach and Engagement leader, Beatty proved a staunch and effective advocate for extending the reach of the University’s resources more broadly, and she established new partnerships with K-12 administrators. Dr. Lee is the ideal person to build upon and extend that work.