One definition of leadership is “anyone who is working to make things go well in the world, whether their efforts are recognized or not.”
Many successful innovators in farming and ranching have an informal support group or “community of practice.” This is a tight-knit group of people (nearby or far away) that talks together regularly to provide each other with long-term learning and support as they “break from the herd” and face tensions with their more cautious neighbors (those dreaded “coffee shop” moments). These groups, gatherings and ongoing conversations can provide opportunities for people to:
- Listen to each other’s successes and failures—and learn from each other’s experiences
- Build strong connections with people tackling similar issues
- Talk about social and economic pressures that they are facing
- Report back from recent conferences and field days.
- Share what they have been reading and learning
- Be an effective resource as others think through challenging situations.
There are many ways to create a community of practice—even if your peers don’t live nearby. In this introduction to leading effectively in the soil health movement, we will look at tried and true ways to create a community of practice that is fun, real, trustworthy, and that lasts.