Communiqué March 28, 2012

Talk Straight - Behavior #1 of High-Trust Leaders

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

In The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey makes two observations – behavior matters, and you can change behavior. He also says there are several behaviors that are commonly exhibited by high-trust leaders in organizations and businesses. 

Expanding on the observation that “what you DO often has a far greater impact than what you say,” Covey has identified 13 behaviors that characterize the general actions of high-trust leaders. These behaviors are based on proven principles, they grow out of the four cores of credibility, they are actionable, and they are universal (page 126). 

The first behavior Covey discusses is “talk straight.” In his words, “‘Talk Straight’ is honesty in action. It’s based on the principles of integrity, honesty, and straightforwardness.” (Covey, p 137)

Be honest. Tell the truth and leave the right impression. Let people know where you stand. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. 

As I describe it -- rather than putting a “spin” on things, it’s best to simply say what needs to be addressed with tact and consideration. Don’t beat around the bush – be direct and be forthcoming; state what you mean. 

It’s good to remember that talking straight should be tempered with tact, but I believe we should tell it as we best know it at the time. This actually saves time and trouble in the long run, if everyone knows where you stand. That helps all of us get things done more effectively and efficiently. Covey gives some examples about the impact of talking straight on speed and cost for organizations, and he has some good suggestions about improving our own ability to talk straight. Be sure to also read the examples Covey gives to illustrate how trust accounts can be built, including deposits and withdrawals. 

10 Inclusionist Behaviors in Leadership

During 2012, we will publish short statements by OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet members describing how they strive to incorporate inculsionist behaviors into their work. Refer to the introductory article in the January 9 issue of Communiqué for more information.

Behavior #4 – Inclusionist leaders treat people as individuals, which means they don’t use clichés like “I treat everybody the same.”

Our individual talents, experiences, aspirations, and motivations are as unique to us as our fingerprints. Combining such individual diversity enables an organization to create, adapt, perform, and excel in ways similar to the imaginary tools and equipment in my own (still imaginary) retirement workshop. Arguably, both my hammer and glass cutter could be used to cut glass. However, one tool is clearly better suited to handle the glass cutting duties than the other. I should not expect my hammer to cut glass any better than the glass cutter could effectively drive a nail. Ignoring everything I know about these tools and every other tool in the workshop, instead preferring to employ them interchangeably, would result in a workshop full of damaged useless tools, broken glass, and a whole lot of frustration.

Inclusionist leaders realize that no two individuals are the same. They treat every individual in respectful, dignified and professional ways that bring out the individual’s skills and abilities; enabling each person to contribute meaningfully as well as feel he or she is a valued part of the larger organization.

I’ve learned that our organization, at all levels, is made up of a variety of individuals; each of them possesses a wide array of skills, interests, and passions. I am glad to be part of an organization whose leadership recognizes these individual differences and what is possible when these resources are unleashed. When in positions of leadership myself, I take comfort in knowing that the workshop contains a lot more than just hammers.

-Greg Davis, Assistant  Director, Community Development

Printable Extension Directory Now Available

The OSU Extension directory (as of March 20) is now available online as two PDF files that can be printed. The lists by employee last name and by office/unit are available in the Publications section on the front page of the main Extension site, as well as in the personnel directory of the “For Faculty and Staff” section – the direct links are:

Extension department directory

Staff alphabetical directory

Travel Costs for Program Support by State Specialists and Extension Associates

Re:  OSU Extension Policy Handbook, Cost Recovery, Section VII

Note that the flat fee for travel charged to a county Extension office has been changed from $75 to $125 (per Extension Administrative Cabinet decision March 8, 2012).

•  To ensure that specialized expertise is accessible to people in all counties of Ohio, OSU Extension is adopting a "flat rate" policy for specialist/Extension associate travel to resource Extension programs. Specialists are reimbursed for the actual mileage traveled per OSU travel policy. The travel rate to be charged to a county is $125 round trip, regardless of the distance traveled. These funds will be retained by the home academic department of the specialist for use in funding travel.

•  State cars are available for specialist/Extension associate use for travel to conduct programs. An option exists for the use of OARDC state cars for Extension business, at a reduced mileage rate, which will be charged back to the unit - resulting in a savings to the department and individual travel budgets. Cars can be scheduled by contacting the Columbus OARDC Director’s office or  by e-mailing*

*The mileage rate for the vehicles is currently $0.35 per mile.  It is intended that the Columbus vehicles are used only for short trips, not multi-day trips.  

This information is also available online.

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 28, 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.

Bill Williams Diversity Award - Nominations Due April 18

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) will be awarding the Bill Williams Diversity Award. There are two awards, one for students and/or student groups, and one for faculty/staff. Each award is $1,000 along with a plaque and recognition at the CFAES Annual Banquet.

Bill Williams was co-founder of Glory Foods Inc. His product lines began in the Department of Food Science and Technology, with OSU students actively involved in product development, marketing, and product rollout. From 1992 until his death in 2001, Bill Williams contributed financial support annually to minority students in the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The attached document contains the award criteria and nomination form. The deadline for nominations is April 18.

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Multiple Perspectives Conference - April 24-25

There will be three featured speakers and 29 concurrent sessions at the 2012 Multiple Perspectives Conference to be held on The Ohio State University campus in April.

Stephen Kuusisto will present the Ethel Louise Armstrong Lecture on Disability Culture and Art. Kuusisto is an author, poet, disability advocate, and director of Syracuse University’s Renée Crown University Honors Program, where he is also a University Professor of Disability Studies. To read excerpts of Kuusisto’s poetry, essays, blog posts and more, visit his Web site.

LeDerick Horne will present The Ohio State University’s President and Provost’s Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series. Classified as neurologically impaired in the third grade, Horne has become a successful spoken word poet, playwright, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and advocate. You can sample Horne’s poetry on iTunes;and find out more about Horne’s life and work at his Web site.

Marilyn Bartlett will present the Ken Campbell Lecture on Disability Policy. Bartlett has been a kindergarten teacher, college professor, public school assistant superintendent, associate in a law firm, and college dean. She is well published and presents locally, nationally, and internationally on topics of educational law. However, many know her as the law school graduate with a reading and learning disability who was refused accommodations on the bar exam and became the plaintiff in Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners.

Sponsors and supporters: Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation; Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Ohio State University; Office For Disability Services, The Ohio State University; Disability Studies Program, The Ohio State University; Columbus Advisory Council on Disability Issues; The Kirwan Institute; Diversity and Identity Studies Collective, The Ohio State University; ADA-OHIO; The Wexner Center For The Arts; and The Ohio State University Medical Center.

National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning - May 1

Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Valerie Lee, and the NCDR&L Conference planning committee are pleased to announce the 18th annual National Conference on Diversity, Race and Learning set for May 1. This event will be held at the Fawcett Conference Center at The Ohio State University.

The theme – The Journey of Change: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Uncertain Times – will be approached with best practices, engaging with each other, meaningful and inspirational construct and enrichment through high energy, interactive and substantive breakout sessions, remarks from Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski’s keynote, and “The Diversity and Learning Dialogue.”

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992, tells a critically compelling story, particularly as it relates to science and technology. “He has been given very strong credit for turning around UMBC from a struggling commuter school a decade ago to what U.S. News & World Report called an educational ‘powerhouse.’ The university's technology programs, in particular, have brought national attention.” To learn more about Dr. Hrabowski's accomplishments, visit this link.

For proposal information and to register online, click here.

Staff Professional Development Award From CFAES Staff Advisory Council - Application Deadline May 15

Do you need assistance to offset costs associated with professional development and staff career goals? This award can be used toward expenses (up to $200).

The CFAES Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is now accepting applications for its staff professional development award. See the attached guidelines and application form. Forms are due to Shelley Whitworth by May 15. Recipients will be notified by the committee.

This award is made possible through Campus Campaign donations to the SAC Training Fund #312155.

For more information about SAC, click the following link:

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