The Alumni Association of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute (AAWLI) held their annual meeting in Clearwater last weekend, August 6-7. At the Saturday evening awards banquet, the group honored four outstanding individuals for their contributions to the Wedgworth Leadership Institute (WLI) and the agriculture and natural resource industries.Read More
Kevin Wright, Class X, Region II Representative
Vice President of Lands, SE at Oak River Farms
How did you become a part of WLI?
I was aware of WLI while at Suwannee River Water Management District. I had seen industry leaders rise after completing the program. Darrell Smith and Noah Handley asked if I would be interested in completing the program while I was a Generation Farms employee.
What does leadership mean to you?
I think of leadership as taking a team of 50 members and winning a championship; while allowing each individual member to believe that they are the sole person responsible for that result. Leadership should be the tide that rises all boats.
What are your main priorities as a member of the AAWLI BOD?
As a board member, my main priority is to create situations to allow for more connection with regional members.
What value does AAWLI provide to our members?
AAWLI provides continued contact with members of various backgrounds. These connections give us sense of place while dealing with complex problems.
What is your favorite WLI memory?
My favorite WLI memory is our trip to Washington, DC. The trip helped connect policy decisions with policy makers.
Any advice for the current class?
My advice for the current class would be to find your “Why” and be willing to say “No.”Read More
I would like to start by saying, “Thank you” for allowing me to serve as your Alumni Association President for the next two years. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Matt Webb, and I am President of Genesis Timber in Madison, FL. I am a proud member of Class VII (THE BEST CLASS).
I would have never dreamed we would be holding an Alumni zoom meeting! I would like to give a shout out to Class XI for their strong participation in that recent meeting. You have set the bar high for future classes! For those of you that have been directly affected by the pandemic, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your families. Please let us know if there is anything the alumni association can do to help. We are here for you. One of the greatest benefits of graduating from the Wedgworth program is, if you call any alumni, they will stop what they are doing to help.
The main focus of my presidency will be to help Christy with her mentorship program. I feel we have an amazing group of contacts for future classes. I want to make sure we do more than just nominate people for Wedgworth. We need to invest in these upcoming class members. It is one thing to talk about the program; it is another matter to actually feel you are a part of Wedgworth and to learn from previous class members.
I would also like to implement more strategic continuing education at our regional gatherings. We all face challenges, and I will do my best to address the issues by region.
Over the term of my presidency, I believe we will get back to meeting in person. In the meantime, I encourage each alumni member to reach out to people in your classes that have not been involved. We are all busy, but there was an investment made on behalf of each of us, and I feel it is our duty to make sure there is a substantial return on those investments. Wedgworth alumni is the future of Agriculture world-wide, and I believe it will be the sounding board for any issues that arise in that arena.
I pray 2020-2022 are the best years yet for each of your families and your businesses.
GOD BLESS and GO GATORS!
Matthew G. WebbRead More
In the last several months, WLI conducted an alumni needs assessment in order to determine how best to serve WLI alumni in terms of continuing education and involvement opportunities.
59 survey responses were analyzed, generating an outline for how we will continue to engage our program alumni. When asked “Do you value leadership development at this stage in your career?” all question respondents answered yes. This illustrates the commitment to personal development WLI alumni exhibit, and is a poignant reminder of the importance of providing ample development opportunities to our alumni.
Areas including leading through uncertainty, priorities and decision making as a leader, mental health, preparing an organization for crisis, and identifying innovation opportunities were identified as having the greatest need for continued development.
Alumni reported that in-person workshops are preferential for programming, followed by webinars.
Furthermore, responses indicated that our alumni find tremendous value in new experiences, diverse perspectives, and self-discovery.
In order to meet the needs of WLI alumni, we aim to offer programming with synchronous and asynchronous components. For example, posting written summaries of in-person events online or recording live webinars so they can be revisited on-demand.
With the insights gained from this survey, we look forward to offering engaging opportunities which will better serve WLI alumni.Read More
When the world is chaotic, leadership becomes even more challenging. As we lead throughout these difficult times, we may find ourselves growing weary and becoming unsure of how we will continue on. When these doubts cloud our thoughts, we can center ourselves by remembering why we chose to lead in the first place. It is important to find time to reflect and remember our WHY, because when we are driven by a purpose our capacity for leadership is multiplied.
Simon Sinek is the leadership expert and bestselling author behind our theme of “Revisiting Your WHY” this month. Sinek is best known for popularizing the concept of WHY, which he described in his viral 2009 TED Talk. Sinek has spent years studying the people and organizations that make the greatest and longest lasting impact in the world. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help leaders and organizations inspire action.
This month, we are sharing TED talks, podcasts, and articles revolving around Simon Sinek’s concept of WHY. While exploring these resources you will be encouraged to consider what drives you, what gets you out of bed each morning, and why you have decided to lead. This is our personal WHY. We hope that these resources aid in the process of revisiting your WHY and remind you why you choose to lead.
If you prefer to read:
(5 minute read) This Forbes article discusses four ways purpose-driven companies are out performing their competitors amidst Covid-19. Read Now
(15 minute read) This Harvard Business Review article presents a step-by-step framework that leaders can use to identify their purpose and develop an impact plan to achieve concrete results.
If you prefer to listen:
TED Talk: Start With Why
Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is the third most-viewed TED video of all time. In this 20 minute video, Simon Sinek summarizes “The Golden Circle,” a framework which describes how great leaders and organizations distinguish themselves and inspire those around them.
Podcast: Coaching for Leaders Podcast featuring Simon Sinek
In this 40 minute episode of the Coaching for Leaders podcast, Simon Sinek discusses how purpose-driven leadership positively shapes organizations.
Podcast: Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why
In this 30 minute episode of the Learning Leaders Show podcast, Simon Sinek discusses why we should lead and the necessity of courage in leadership.Read More