Devin Trout

Discovering my strengths: AgriPOWER Session 1 blog

by Devin Trout, AgriPOWER Class XI member

Opening session for AgriPOWER Class XI took place on the hottest weekend thus far of the summer. But that was okay because we took advantage of the cool air conditioning at Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau. 

All any of us can offer is the nucleus of a good idea,  Keith Stimpert, senior vice president at Ohio Farm Bureau, shared this in his welcoming message to us while kicking off the first session. Keith shared the importance of working with others to bring other unknown ideas to life. This really hit home for me as a Farm Bureau member. We are all walking a similar walk in life in the agriculture industry, but all have so many different ideas that we still don’t know we have. That’s why community is so important in agriculture — community helps build ideas and turns those ideas into goals then into plans. 

AgriPOWER Class XIFollowing a tour of Nationwide and of Ohio Farm Bureau, we were introduced to Elise Stoddard from American Farm Bureau Federation. “Our greatest potential lies in what we already do well,” she said, which helps create the most impactful leaders and allows for unique opportunities based on their strengths. Elise was able to help define and help us apply what our strengths were. She shared that the next steps to follow with knowing what our strengths are is to be deliberate about how we focus on our leadership efforts, to identify people that can help us on our journey, and to master our environment and be more engaged to be successful. 

Understanding my strengths and weaknesses is a real game changer for me in my professional and personal worlds. Knowing that empathy is my top strength will allow me to be a better team player and understand the rest of my team throughout my career.

Elise also shared with us about Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing your own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves. We learned that our EQ = our job performance. As someone who hopes to eventually be in a managing role, this is key to know and understand. If my team is stressed, overwhelmed and not motivated, their performance is going to be lacking. I think it’s important for managing personnel to invest in their team’s EQ and focus on team building. 

We also learned about influential communicators and that they put the people before themselves. They ask what do they need, focus on change in the listeners and are impact conscious. A question Elise asked us is “Will your message matter tomorrow for your audience as they begin their day?” I think this is key for anyone. Will what I say impact this person? Whether we are talking to a large audience or a peer, I think we all need to recognize what impact our words have on others.  Being in the agriculture industry we may get feedback from others who do not share the same values as we do, and I think instead of losing our cool, which happens a lot, we should ask ourselves if what we are saying will matter to this person tomorrow? 

We wrapped up our session with defining leadership with Marlene Eick from Live Your Story. Dr. John C. Maxwell defines leadership: “Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” Marlene shared that we must truly know ourselves before we can understand how to influence effectively. She asked us what have we been holding ourselves back from, and this really hit home with me. I am a dream chaser 100% and never fulfill my dreams because I hold myself back. This session really encouraged me to stop holding myself back from anything. The most simplest sounding thing, that has a huge impact. 

Session one was a great dive into what AgriPOWER is and I am looking forward to growing my leadership skills with a great group of other impactful leaders. 

Other AgriPOWER Class XI blog:

The beginning of relationships, by Kenzie Johnston, Delaware County

Devin Trout is the media and marketing specialist for Franklin County Farm Bureau and designer for Edible Columbus. She is a Columbus Pittie Committee foster and active with the Central Ohio Young Ag Professionals.