This past week was #FFAWeek. The National FFA Organization serves as the largest youth organization in the country focused on agricultural education and leadership development. I can attribute much of my skills and development to the FFA.
As I reflected through some photographs found (in the dusty cobwebs of my hard drive), it brought back some found memories. It is remarkable how quickly time can pass and feel like yesterday in the same sense. I have changed a lot. However, I have also stayed the same in some ways.
It is weird to me. There are many leadership books, podcasts, theories stating how change is the number one factor to development. However, consistency also plays a role in progress. How do these two elements work together for us as people and leaders?
I think there are only nuances in change and consistency.
I can recall back to my freshman year of high school and being a shy, quiet young girl. The FFA put me in situations of uncomfortability and the need to change. However, it was not until my senior year of high school or freshman year of college that I truly recognized how important it was to continue seeking opportunities for change. That consistency of finding change helped me continue forward through many Career Development Events, work experiences and taking the chance to run for state FFA officer position.
I knew that if I wanted to position myself for new opportunities in chapter leadership, I had to develop speaking skills. Therefore, I participated in public speaking and parliamentary procedure. I never placed first in these events. However, I identified each time little things I could change to improve.
Something many do not know is that I actually ran for state FFA officer candidate twice. First time, I did not get it. There were three qualified candidates from my chapter. Each school can only send two candidates to the state interviews. Senior year of high school, I was not quite ready for it. I needed more time to mature and develop. I chose to prepare and run again my freshman year at Ohio State. The second time around, I knew what I had to change and prepare for and became the 2011-2012 District 1 President.
2. Take consistent actions for more results.
If you are currently in FFA, you know that in order to do better in CDE, learn more from your SAE project or make steps towards a goal like your State FFA Degree or State FFA Officer position, it takes a lot of practice, patience and perseverance. Guess what? This does not change after the FFA. It only teaches you how to incorporate this system into other goals, activities and organizations.
The most evident experience I have of this is from my body building endeavors. Dieters and nutritionists always preach “consistent diets and exercises yield the most results”. I never believed it. However, when I started to see changes on my own over eating the same meals and macronutrient breakdowns in my first bodybuilding show, I became a believer.
We often don’t believe until we see. I can promise you, taking little consistent actions on a frequent basis yield more results than trying to do everything at once. Even study habits prove that absorbing information in little bits at a time versus cramming prove long-term success.