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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

February 19, 2019 - 8:15am --

I love to travel, especially when it’s a new adventure.  A couple of weeks ago I was in San Antonio for a Leadership conference and met some wonderful people from all over the nation, through their Land Grant University positions.  The morning I left, it was dreary and cold in Cleveland, but rising above the clouds, the sky was bright blue with lots of sunshine.  It reminded me that our perception of things is not always just what we see in front of us.  The sun was there all the time, even though I had to change vantage points to see it.  How true that is of life in general, sometimes the good things are always there, but clouded over and take a little time to come to light. 

The sessions that caused me to ponder the most were the ones that challenged to me to think about the mission of Extension, the land grant university values that were established by Abraham Lincoln so many years ago during our nation’s most difficult time.  The summary is a quote from C Peter Magrath,

“My conclusion is that the eternal core mission of our simulating land grant universities is today as it was in 1862; it is to serve people, just as we should do as individuals.  We serve ourselves best when we serve others and our communities.”

Teaching, Research and Service, that is what Ohio State University offers and Extension is the outreach to bring the research to the communities where it is utilized by individuals, families and businesses as they see fit.  Whether its nutrition, finances, farm management or youth development Extension has something to offer everyone.  If you are not familiar with our programs check out our website at and see what might interest you and your family. Be aware 4-H enrollment deadline is April 1.

One of the leading questions at a session was “What kind of legacy do we leave?”  We all have the same amount of time every day and we choose how to invest each minute.  We can lead through either our position or by influencing those around us to join in the cause.  Here are a few additional thoughts shared:

*Live you principles as they rule your behavior.  Top two principles of successful leaders are integrity and responsibility.  This might be a great conversation to have in your workplace or in your home-what are the core values we live and work by?

*Become a problem solver- you do not have a conflict, you have two possible opportunities.  When our kids or co-workers come to us with a problem, ask them to bring two suggestions for how to make it better. Notice when things are going well, be sure to compliment them, create an attitude of gratitude, and do not be afraid to apologize. 

*Take care of yourself by blocking out time on your calendar for family events and time for yourself.  When asked to assume more responsibility respond with one of the following:

I’m happy to do that, and I can get it to you next week, or

If that takes priority, what project would you like me to delay, or

Is there someone who might be able to work with me to meet this deadline?

We all strive to meet goals and expectations, but there are times that we need to do things ourselves and not ask others to do something that we could do, as my dad always said “lack of prior planning on your part doesn’t create an emergency on mine”. 

*The happier and more engaged we are as employees, the more successful the outcome of the project or the programs are for all of us. I would venture to say this also applies at home and with our friends.  Look beyond the clouds for the sunshine and blue skies, the rainy days will end.

Leadership doesn’t always have a title, it’s what we do, where we are to accomplish a task and learn life skills in the process.


Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

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