This week, a ‘virtual AGM’ saw my two-year term as chairman of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ) come to an end, prompting me to think what I’ve learned…

LESSON 1: Reach out

The BGAJ has a great following and reaching out to members has provided strong direction of travel for my leadership role. We asked members to step forward to act as spokespeople on a national media platform and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

LESSON 2: Explore new opportunities

The BGAJ collaboration with member, Anna Jones, and her initiative, Just Farmers, was sparked by the recognition that we shared a mutual goal. We didn’t know where it would take us at the outset, but it’s paid off.

LESSON 3: Keep an open mind

I’m used to ‘being the boss’ in the day job, but heading up an independent organisation with a team of volunteer directors, all from different places of work and backgrounds, isn’t the same and it’s even more important to be adaptable to differing perspectives.

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BGAJ Harvest Service
LESSON 4: Collaborate and be decisive

These two facets do go hand in hand and as long as you do the former, it’s easier to do the latter in order to get work done and keep the cogs turning; a decisive hand is hugely important.

LESSON 5: Keep smiling

Being approachable, talking to people and being positive are vital traits for any leadership role.

 

Catherine Linch served as Chairman of the British Agricultural Journalists between 2018 and 2020.