Communiqué June 6, 2012

10 Inclusionist Behaviors in Leadership

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

Behavior # 6 -- Inclusionist leaders are willing to appreciate different styles of leadership.

To be a more inclusive leader in a way that helps our organization leverage the diversity of skills and talents of our employees and volunteers is a goal which I personally strive to improve upon with each new opportunity. For me, it starts with listening to understand and observing the manner in which a person interacts with others.

If I pay attention to how they think about problem solving, program planning and every other aspect of doing their job we can talk about their strengths, the things for which the employee or volunteer has a passion, and I can help them build from the strengths that they bring to the table. 

As an example, when I became the county Extension director in Franklin County, it was enlightening to travel through the University District with Susan Colbert. She was shocked that I would think I should lock her car when we stopped to visit a key volunteer; she thought it sent a message that I did not trust the people who lived in the neighborhood.  I observed her confident manner as we interacted with other community leaders and learned that they trusted her and knew that she planned on being a force of positive change. It was evident to all that she was not there for the short term. 

When we as community leaders show others that we have confidence in them, it quickly becomes a two way street of trust which is the foundation of leading others. 

-Bev Kelbaugh, South Central Regional Co-Director and interim co-associate director, programming

Defining the word leadership has many interpretations. A basic definition could simply be stated as “leadership being a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.” In Extension, we have the opportunity to not only influence co-workers, but local clientele.

I have always believed that you can learn something from everyone, and that everyone has the ability to be a leader. A leader is determined by others, we are not automatically considered a leader by title alone. Not everyone works the same or has the same skills and knowledge for every situation. Good leaders recognize their own strengths and limitations, but must also realize and appreciate the capabilities of those they work with. Sometimes you may find it more productive and the group having greater success when you are a follower.

-Ted Wiseman, interim South Central Regional Co-Director and educator, Perry County 

Tri-State Grants - Deadline September 30

The experiment stations and Extension directors of The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and Purdue University established a Tri-State Research and Extension grant program in 2011. The purpose of these grants is to provide funds to encourage and enhance the building of winning integrated research and Extension teams from the three states that can better compete for large competitive grants, foster new relationships with industry or produce new and innovative approaches to issues and problems best addressed through research and extension teams. Seven target areas of interest are identified in the RFP at http://oardc.osu.edu/tsire/t01_pageview2/Home.htm. This site also contains instructions on how to apply for these grants, a budget form and a PowerPoint presentation that provides helpful hints to form tri-state teams. Up to $50,000 will be awarded to merit competitive grants for two years.

OSU Distinguished Staff Awards

Two of the 12 winners receiving this year’s Distinguished Staff Awards from OSU were Nate Arnett, Extension educator with Adventure Central and Linda Hast, office associate with 4-H Youth Development. Congratulations to Nate and Linda!

National Extension Technology Conference - Extension Learning Opportunities

The National Extension Technology Conference has one track throughout the conference that will be streamed live. Review the list below for topics of interest to you, and plan to attend. Find the full description and time for each session at Learn (learn.extension.org). Use each session’s unique URL in Learn to share with others who may be interested. Sign in with your eXtensionID to follow a session. Update your settings to get notifications.

Are you offering web-based learning? Add it to Learn so others may share and participate. And remember, anyone may participate in sessions of their interest that are listed in Learn. The public may sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Google to join the conversation on the session's page in Learn.

  • Informal Learning 2: Drinking from a Fire Hydrant - How to Tap into the Information Stream, June 7, 1 pm EDT,60 minutes
  • Youth: Juvenile Sexting- June 12, 2 pm EDT, 60 minutes
  • Pork & Poultry: Producer Association Efforts to Address Carbon Footprints: Pork and Poultry, June 15, 2:30 pm EDT, 60 minutes
  • Dairy/Organic: Breeding and Genetics-Considerations for Organic Dairy Farms, June 19, 2 pm EDT, 75 minutes 
  • Tax & Incentives: Property tax and incentive programs for Minnesota woodland owners, June 26, 1 pm EDT, 60 minutes
  • eXtension: Question Wranglers' Meetup - June 26, 2 pm EDT, 60 minutes
  • Military Families: 9 Skills for Couples Communication About Money, June 26, 2 pm EDT, 90 minutes
  •  Bioenergy Fridays: Torrefaction, June 29, 10 am EDT, 60 minutes

If you have questions or comments, contact Beth Raney at beth.raney@extension.org