PAC Dr. Larry Firkins

(Nels) Welcome to AGam in Kansas. This is Nels Lindberg and Dr. Larry Firkins. We’re gathered here for our 4th Annual PAC Summit at the Gateway Center where we like to bring in folks to speak and help educate our feedyards and managers and owners as well as crew members and team leaders. So with that, we’ve got Dr. Firkins here. And Dr. Firkins tell AGam in Kansas a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are. (Larry) I’d be happy to. I’m from Illinois. I’m a veterinarian. I’m a professor at the University of Illinois at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Was in practice for nine years and have been at the university for 20. About 15 years ago I spent some time and got a degree in business. And I’ve really transferred my veterinary degree to utilizing the business degree more and teach business management at the vet college. (Nels) Very good, very good. So, for your topic today what is the main focus of your topic today for our people? (Larry) Yea, I had the opportunity to cover Positioning Others to be Successful. I’m going to talk about how the world kind of tells us to look out for ourself and the really effective managers, the really effective leaders that I’ve had an opportunity to interact with, they take it to that next level. They focus on how do they make those around them successful? And we’re gonna talk about some strategies that I think could make that happen. (Nels) You bet, it’s really about caring for people and being a servant to those people to get the best out of ’em. In terms of communication what…give us two top examples of effective communication to your team members. (Larry) A couple of things that I really try to focus on is, I have the bad habits of when I’m listening I focus more on crafting my response instead of really listening to what the individual’s saying, instead of really trying to understand what the individual is saying. So, I’m working on, and we’ll talk about today, being more purposeful, with listening to what the individual is communicating to you as opposed to crafting your response. And then the other thing I think is valuable is while data is important to prove our point and to make us believe the point, what we’re really interested in is what are the issues, what are the problems and what’s my role in that? What role can I play to solve that problem? When we communicate that effectively the brain likes that. The brain wants context to put points together to solve problems. (Nels) Very, very good. Very good. Next up we think about millennials. And there’s a lot of talk about the millennials and how they operate, how they think, how they work, what they expect. And those of us that are a little older, we have a hard time relating to those folks. So, in terms of millennials, give us two key strategies in understanding millennials and working with them. (Larry) A couple of things I focus with and it’s really important right now Dr. Nels, the boomer generation, those approximately 50 to 70 there’s a little under 75 million and right now the millennials the 20 age to about 38 there’s over 75 million, with that figure expected to increase to 81 million with the immigration that’s occurring. We tend to focus on the differences and what I try to capitalize on, with every generation there’s aspects that come natural to them. I’m not naturally inclined for technology, a lot of millennials are. How do the different generations appreciate and capitalize on what comes natural? And then the other thing I’m really becoming more aware of is, we can’t stereotype 75 million people and say this is how all boomers act, or this is how millennials act. But there are things that we all share in common. We all want meaningful work. We all want a certain level of responsibility. We want to be acknowledged. We want relationships that are strong, that work. And we want to be able to question and be heard. So, focusing on what we have in common can capitalize on and make up for some of the differences between the different generations. (Nels) Very good, very good. So, for AGam in Kansas, we thank you for watching and hope you enjoyed this small segment and thanks for being great Kansans.

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