One way to gain valuable skills is to serve on a board of directors, says Sarah Beth Aubrey, Top Producer columnist and business coach. “What might have previously been considered time off or a reward, I now consider important to pursue as early as possible,” she says.
There are five ways to use board service to develop and coach your next generation, according to Aubrey who will be presenting a breakout session on the topic at the 2019 Executive Women in Agriculture Conference.
1. Enhance Your Local Reputation. When you are selected to serve on a board, an organization entrusts you with a vital, high-impact role, she says. It’s a public endorsement of your expertise and value.
2. Network Like a Boss. Want the opportunity to engage with influential leaders, connect with people you need to meet in order to stay informed? Would you like to cultivate new relationships? Find a board that serves an area or mission you are passionate about, but is not in agriculture, Aubrey advises.
3. Develop New Skills. Active board members grow in critical areas such as leadership, collaboration and understanding strategy, Aubrey says.
4. Uncover and Change Your Limiting Biases. “Behavioral economists say that confirmation bias leads most people to seek out evidence supporting what they already believe,” wrote Jason Zweig, a Wall Street Journal writer. He adds that without interactions in different realms beyond our norms, we can fall into “unconscious biases, or factors that shape our behavior below the level of awareness.” Aubrey says top farmers of the future must think, hire and act differently. Self-awareness will be key.
5. Get Knocked Down a Rung or Two. Sure, we all think younger people are too confident because they don’t have the benefit of experience, but Zweig says this assumption applies to us all. “Behavioral economics teaches that people are overconfident: They believe they know more than they do, or they assume their knowledge is more precise than it is.” Ouch! That zinger applies to every one of us. If we stop learning and assume we know it all, we make big mistakes, and become really boring to be around, Aubrey says.
Sarah Beth Aubrey is presenting a breakout session at the 2019 Executive Women in Agriculture Conference.
Executive Women in Agriculture, Jan. 15–17
Women account for more than 30% of farm operators. This event helps this dynamic and vital segment of the ag industry build leadership and communication skills, as well as hone farm business skills.
- Agenda: https://www.tpsummit.com/executive-women-agriculture-conference-agenda
- Register: https://registration.sonburst.com/farmjournal/TPS2019/register/
We’re offering a special discount for EWA! Use the code “EWASpecial” to receive a registration fee of only $99. Enter the discount code on the payment screen at the end of your registration (NOT where it asks for “Sponsor Code” on the first screen). The codes are case sensitive.