Leadership is Give and Take

As I’m sure you know by now (if you follow the Beef Ambassadors), we spent this week at the National Cattlemen Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. There were thousands of attendees from the industry to talk with and learn from, and it was a fantastic opportunity to take a step back and visit with the people that we are representing on a daily basis. I was nothing if not encouraged to see how proactive and involved people in the beef industry are. They are constantly looking for ways to better the industry and send a positive message to consumers.

Talking with Mr. John Sticka of Certified Angus Beef

The Beef Ambassadors had the opportunity of attending a collegiate round-table on our last day in Nashville, where we were privileged to talk to some influential folks in the industry about their roles of leadership. The round-table style was very effective; there were two leaders at each of the five tables (yes, they were round), and they talked about or opened discussion on different facets of leadership. We were at each table for five minutes, at which point we moved to the next table. Some of the leaders included Craig Huffines with the Hereford Association; Forrest Roberts, CEO of National Cattlemens Beef Association; Polly Ruhland, CEO of Cattlemens Beef Board; John Sticka with Certified Angus Beef; Weldon Wynn, Chairman of Cattlemens Beef Board, and more.  Each one of them had very impressive job titles, and were immersed in leadership every day. Five minutes was definitely not enough time, they were all a wealth of leadership knowledge and had lots of advice for us young industry leaders. After the session, we were asked if we had received any “gold nuggets” of wisdom, and one thing in particular jumped to the front of my mind. One of the topics of discussion was whether leadership meant “giving,” and how we could be givers in leadership. Mrs. Tammi Didlot, past president of American National CattleWomen, addressed this question in a way that I found to be quite the “gold nugget”. She said, “Leadership can be defined as a ‘give and take’ job. As leaders, we should always be taking responsibility, and giving respect.” This statement struck me, and made me really think about what it means to be a leader. Leadership is about taking responsibility when things go wrong and giving credit when they go right. I think that mentality truly puts things into perspective when it comes to being a leader. It’s a very big job, and something that doesn’t always come naturally. Theses things we are giving and taking as leaders aren’t necessarily tangible, but they’re very important, and, in my opinion, the key to good, effective leadership. I hope this blog has inspired you in your leadership pursuits! Let us know if you have any more “gold nuggets” to share.


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