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Intensity & Consistency

The NIKE company is over 50 years old. What? How did that happen? No matter what your preference is on athletic apparel, you have to admit they've been a leader in this arena. They have been very consistent in offering high-quality products people need to get out there and "just do it".

They have also had their moments of intensity. The decision to create a whole product line around a single athlete, Michael Jordan. The "Bo Knows" campaign with multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson only to have him experience a career-ending injury.

In our daily lives, we also experience intensity. Let's take oral hygiene for example. We go to the dentist twice a year and those visits might be described as "intense". Despite the intensity, these are a great reminder of the proper ways to brush, floss, and practice good oral hygiene.

If we only went to the dentist twice a year and didn't do anything else the intensity wouldn't matter. Our oral hygiene would suffer. It's the consistency of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing that matters.

Our oral health happens with everyday consistency and is supported by the intensity of dentist visits.

Is our leadership development the same?

Often we treat leadership development with intensity. We sign up for a short course, read/watch/listen to an "expert", or attend a conference. These are great for a quick reminder or introduction to new approaches. The feeling of earning a certificate from these experiences can also give us a boost. Those by themselves won't make us a better leader though.

It's what we do every day with the knowledge we gain on our journey that matters. The consistency of our behaviors is the key. Every day we have the opportunity to move towards the person and leader we want to be. We're moving toward or away from our vision of the leader we want to become.

If we only address our leadership development twice a year with intensity (like the dentist)  our growth is stunted. It's the combination of intensity with our everyday intentions, decisions, and actions that provides the fertile ground for growth.

What you do with each day matters. The subtle and not-so-subtle positive interactions with those you connect with create your leadership impact. One day at a time. One decision at a time. One interaction at a time. This is the only way to hone your leadership habits. Your consistent actions display your priorities!

Stay the course, we need you.

Keep leading!

Just do it!

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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 Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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