Foggy Notions

a poet’s journey

Influence of a Forward-Looking Teacher

In the Fall of 1977, I received the American Farmer Degree at the annual Future Farmers of America Convention. That would have never happened if one forward-looking teacher hadn’t sent his best student representatives to my junior high school to recruit me in 1972.

Mr. John Silvia, my high school Agriculture Science teacher, influenced a lot of us, coaching and training us using the F.F.A. Program to guide and form our emerging leadership of others.

To this day, it was the most effective leadership training I have ever experienced. I learned it early in life, and it has served me well.

The F.F.A. Motto is what I have based much of my life on:

Learning to Do,
Doing to Learn,
Earning to Live,
Living to Serve.

I memorized that at age 15, then attempted to model it for the past 50 years as I’ve lead various projects since.

Being a leader is the easy part. Leading well is the challenge.

As I sit with leaders now, I always lean into the principles that guided me and lead me to the surprising successes I achieved through the years, and I coach them the same way Mr. Silvia coached me.

My future and theirs are always better and brighter when I lead that way.

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