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What we know compared to Google isn't much.  None of us knows everything.  Here are some thoughts on leveraging your expertise.

Have a clear mission & focus!

Peter Drucker, the great teacher, said you should be able to fit your mission statement on a t-shirt!  Reach out & meet the greatest people in the world in your topic area & ask them to be your mentors.  Learn from them.  Get clarity & make your t-shirt.

Parallel Allies!

Who are the experts who can help you with your mission?  They don't necessarily do what you do but what they do is related to it.  They don't compete with you & they're truly fantastic at what they do.  Establish win-win relationships with them & help each other!

Quick Exercise

List your skills, experience & knowledge in these categories...

  • Incompetence
  • Competent
  • Excellence
  • Genius

Example: An elementary teacher may be excellent or even genius level at teaching kids to read but maybe incompetent at driving the school bus.

Circle or underline the things in the "excellence" & "genius" categories that align with your values, passion, gifts and/or talents.  These will help you get clarity on your mission statement & allies.

Collaboration isn't a fad.  Organizations who leverage the collective intelligence of their people are able to adapt consistently to meet challenges.  This creates viability & sustainability.  Your expertise adds a ton to every team so do like Nike and...


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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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