“Just tell me how to be a good agent, and I’ll do it!”
I said that in a moment of frustration during my interview with our then State 4-H Leader when I applied for my first 4-H agent position. You see, I had been in the system on an interim basis for long enough to know that I really didn’t know what it meant to be a “good” 4-H agent. However, I desperately wanted to be one, and I desperately wanted someone to hand me the cookbook which included all the step-by-step ingredients and instructions for making this “good” agent.
Over time I’ve learned a few things- 1) There is unlimited success in the world, 2) There are many paths to success, 3) It is your responsibility to find your path to success.
However, research does give us a few other clues as to some factors that do contribute to the success of Extension Agent. Read all about it at: Lessons from Outstanding Agents
- Good agents set priorities, employ effective time management, and have a strong work ethic.
- Good agents are knowledgeable and on-time when dealing with clients. They “under promise and over deliver.”
- Good agents look ahead and are on-top of upcoming needs and trends in the communities they serve.
- Good agents take time to reflect on their work and how to improve their craft.
- Good agents build strong relationships with community members, volunteers, co-workers, mentors, etc.
What do you think? What characteristics have contributed to your success that you don’t see represented in this Journal article? Share your thoughts in the comment section!