Closing General Session

Patty Merk (AZ), Program Development Committee, Program Sub-committee

Dr. Keith Smith, Director of Ohio State Extension capped off the NEAFCS general session on Friday, September 28, 2012.  The capnote presentation, “Leading the Way to the Future: Trust is Essential for Professional and Personal Success” was based on the book by Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust.

According to Covey, there are four cores of credibility:  Integrity, Intent, Capabilities and Results.  Integrity and intent are associated with a person’s character.  Capabilities and results have to do with a person’s competence.  Dr. Smith pointed out that “The cores of credibility are important for Extension as we interact with each other and with the public in building a ‘world class organization’.”
In further defining trust building, Dr. Smith engaged with the NEAFCS audience to explain Covey’s 13 High Trust Behaviors as they relate to Cooperative Extension work.  The 13 High Trust Behaviors are:


1.    Talk straight
2.    Demonstrate respect
3.    Create transparency
4.    Right wrongs
5.    Show loyalty
6.    Deliver results
7.    Get better
8.    Confront reality
9.    Clarify expectations
10.  Practice accountability
11.  Listen first
12.  Keep commitments
13.  Extend trust

In his closing remarks Smith commented, “If we can trust first, we’ll be better, the organization will be better and things will change in our community, our country and our world.”

In addition to being Director of Ohio State Extension, Dr. Smith is also Associate Vice President, Agricultural Administration; Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; and Gist Chair in Extension Education & Leadership.

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