Guest Blogger Taysha Reitzel - Dirt Road Charm
“A leader’s job is to awaken a person’s greatness”- Dr. T. Pearse Lyons
While going through all my notes from all the speakers at the Alltech Symposium it was apparent that Dr. Lyons seemed to have had the more profound presentation as I had many of his quotes written down with thoughts of my own following. He seemed to hit the nail on the head time after time and make me say to myself “exactly”.
Dr. Lyons, President of Alltech, started off with saying “What is greatness? Greatness is going the extra mile. Greatness is being out front. Greatness is the guy who lets the others take the credit.” This statement really says a lot, specifically the last part about letting others take credit. We see this many times in our daily lives, at least I do and he couldn’t be more correct. It’s almost like the man behind the scenes type of concept. Many of us strive for instant gratification. If a project is successful we want to take the full credit. This statement really makes you sit back and think and realize that it’s not always about the gratification but just knowing you were a part of something successful.
Dr Lyons had also mentioned “Leaders create a space to flourish and remove the naysayers. Put your best people in the opportunity not the problems.” It was clear to me at this point that many companies could really learn a lot from this man. If you take your best people and are using them to clean up instead of creating new opportunities and possibilities you are not gaining any ground. The same holds true for those that have a bad attitude and are always ready and willing to bring out the negative. Being in a workplace that is full of negativity is not a good experience for anybody.
While many of the statements were warm and fuzzy and made you say “yes!” he did say a very real statement that I could not agree with more: “Our industry is our own worst enemy. We run from our story. We are the world’s worst marketing people.” He nailed it. This is something that the industry has been struggling to overcome from many years of silence. We have a very vocal minority out there telling our story for us. This needs to change….now. If we intend to share our story and show transparency then we need to stand behind our story and not run from it with silence. If we do not start talking about our industry and all that is happening someone else will and it won’t be how we would have intended it. I give major props to Dr. Lyons for sharing this statement because it shows he understands that while this may be the best industry we sure do have some work to do.
Last but not least one of my favorite statements from the whole symposium would have to be this: “There is no greater group of entrepreneurs than farmers”. I could not agree more. The agriculture industry is one that is always looking for innovation. If one thing isn’t working for us we waste no time in trying to find something that will. We look for opportunity around every corner which is why we as an industry are able to stand strong and come out ahead while many other industries may struggle and fail. It was very clear to me why Dr. Lyons is such a great businessman. He knows the base principles for making a successful company and picked the best industry to be in which is agriculture. However, I may be a little biased.
- Taysha Reitzel