Exploring the Leadership Challenge

Date: December 1, 2020

Author: Chris Duyvelshoff, MSc, AALP Class 18 and Jaime Carson, MSc, AALP Class 18

Vineland Group Photo

By providing rankings about individual tendencies to perform specific leadership behaviours, the LPI enabled us to compare our own perceptions of our leadership traits with that of others. A report then breaks out the scores for each individual leadership practice and behaviour. Seeing that coworkers and managers agreed with your personal assessment was reassuring. The behaviours that others found you lacking in became enlightening. It was especially interesting where your management and coworkers or direct reports had the opposite scores on a behavior.

Aside from the LPI assessment, we also investigated our own values and vision for the future during our first seminar. We travelled to meet and be given tours and presentations from leaders in the agriculture community, and their personal values clearly shone through in their presentations to us. From the staff and researchers at Vineland Research Centre, to peach grower and AALP Class 16 grad Dylan Wiens, and winemaker Yannick Wertsch, we met several innovative leaders that have some very successful programs and operations. Ending our day at Niagara College, we were given a tour of the cannabis education program bunker, with a presentation by professor Bill MacDonald, and a tour of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation program facilities.

Kelly Ann and George finished the day by reviewing the fifth practice in the LPI, Encourage the Heart. This is consistently one of the lowest ranked leadership practices across all participants. Encourage the Heart is all about recognizing and celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of others. Often overlooked, these behaviours are fundamental for many of the most successful leaders. The leaders we met throughout the day provided a great set of examples we could discuss further on how to effectively lead, and the traits we recognized and respected in each leader. The first seminar offered an excellent foundation to explore our own leadership as we continue our development journey in AALP.