January 18, 2022
The Challenge of Leadership
With no idea what was in our very near future, I wrote this in February 2019 for a local news column:
“As we are all aware, we are living in a time of rapid change. There have always been changes taking place in our communities, but the different thing today seems to be the rate of change. It happens so fast that we sometimes feel we can hardly keep up. No doubt, with emerging community issues and school activities in full swing, I can relate to struggling to keep up with change.”
These words ring as true today as they did then, and we need to understand that many people in our Extension system experience feelings of uncertainty with rapid change. Traditions and customary ways of doing things are threatened. Fear of the unknown sometimes creates a resistance to change. We don’t quite know how to proceed.
As Extension professionals, you can help your Board and PDC members feel confident during a time of change and teach them to embrace their board member roles by properly on-boarding and developing leadership skills with the tools found on the KSRE Board Leadership website, https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/boardleadership/.
Benjamin Franklin said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Therefore, the excuse that it takes too much time to use the board leadership modules is just not acceptable. I have no doubt that an investment in the people who support Extension is always time well spent. Some of the modules can be completed online as homework prior to a board meeting, and others can be printed into speakers' notes from a PowerPoint to discuss with the group. Other modules are offered in a video format and take less than five minutes to complete. January or February board meetings are an excellent time to review the Excellence in Board Leadership Assessment to discuss how the board will plan and implement strategies for a successful board member experience.
We are all busy – and some days the crazy schedules can be overwhelming. Let’s work together to help our board members have a positive experience serving K-State Research and Extension by utilizing a tremendous set of resources designed to enhance leadership in our local units.