Monday, July 30, 2012

Developing leadership skills

Farmer Doc and I are both believers that we should give back – to our families, to our communities, and to the organizations that helped us get where we are today (and that are helping us move forward). One of the ways we are giving back is to become involved in leadership roles with some of the organizations that we belong to and are passionate about.

IFB logo
IVMA logo

Last week, I had the opportunity to do some communications training with the American Farm Bureau. The Indiana Farm Bureau has already given us some wonderful opportunities that we might not have otherwise had. I am looking forward to being able to use my polished communications skills to tell the story of our family and our farm, and to help other people understand how important farmers are.

As soon as I got back from my trip to Washington, D.C., I packed back up and headed to Indianapolis for some leadership training with the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.

getting started with personality profiles

This training session was a little bit different. Thanks to the sponsorship of Elanco and the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (phew, what a mouthful!) six state Veterinary Medical Associations are helping groups of new veterinarians develop leadership skills that they will be able to use in their veterinary hospitals, in their communities, and in their families.

Lisa (the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association’s Executive Director) and I are thrilled to be the leadership coordinators for our excited group of 11 new graduates! We went through some “basic training” a few months ago, and launched this program with our new grads last week.

We started with a personality profile, and a discussion of how the different styles communicate.

learning about color profiles

We use a program called “Insights that is sort of a combination of the DiSC and Myers-Briggs profiles. The Insights profile groups people into different color energies based on their behavioral and thinking preferences.

People with blue energy tend to be introverts who are very organized, structured, and detail-oriented. (I have so much blue energy, it’s ridiculous.)

People with green energy also tend to be introverts, and are also very co-operative, sensitive, and caring. A lot of veterinarians tend to fall into the green energy group – I think this is what helps us be empathetic with our clients.

what color do you think I am

The yellow and red energies are the extrovert groups. People with yellow energy are very sociable and dynamic, they are optimistic, and they may be seen as pretty impulsive.

People with red energy are very outgoing and strong-willed; they may be competitive, and they know what they want and they go after it.

I am primarily blue energy (with a good dose of red – hello, hard-headed!), and yellow is my lowest energy.

our color energy profiles

Even though Farmer Doc hasn’t taken this profile assessment, I have a pretty good idea where he sits in this mix. He’s predominantly yellow and red energies. Did I mention that blue and yellow energies are polar opposites of each other? Perhaps that’s why we ended up together…

All our recent grads had the chance to take this assessment, learn their color energy profiles, and learn the color energy profiles of the rest of the group. This will help us communicate with each other better throughout our year-long session.

They will also be able to take these communications “insights” back to their work and home, and this should pretty quickly help them communicate better in all areas.

After a very long day, everyone was still smiling!

IVMA leadership group

Congratulations to our “Power of Eleven Leadership” group, and we are so happy to have you aboard!

Lisa and I are excited to be getting this project going, and we are looking forward to learning as much from these new veterinarians as they will learn from us! (Because, after all, that’s the key to leadership – always learning from those around you!)


  1. Trade you some yellow for some blue. I really need blue, and I think I have tons of yellow to give away!! Feel like we are playing Uno! :-) Congrats on the new Leadership program. Can't wait to hear more about it!

  2. Ha! We definitely need to trade to even things out a little! :)


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