Collaborate. Innovate. Motivate. That was the theme of this year’s Academy put on by the National Pest Management Association. As the major sponsor of NPMA’s Academy, Dow AgroSciences joined pest management professionals from across the country at the three-day conference.
Jen Howard, a sales representative for Sentricon® in Oklahoma and Arkansas, shares her top five tips for getting the most out of Academy.
- As a first-time attendee, I was told your experience of Academy is determined by what you put into it. That couldn’t be more true! Prior to meeting your team in person, read the emails from team captains — or follow instruction from the senior captain — and begin strategizing how you can be a contributor. That may include volunteering your “talents” in any of the games, bringing any team swag or items, or simply committing to speaking up and joining in! At Academy, participation makes all the difference and it pays dividends! (The team I was on — Red Team — brought home the gold!)
- There are few events, if any, in which job titles and company experience matter when working as a team to accomplish and win the tasked “Olympic game.” It’s an incredible experience and so much fun to have all hands on deck!
- Take time to learn from and listen to your teammates. Get to know everybody on your team — their roles, challenges, successes — and ask about their families. Take the opportunity to build a relationship and a network in the industry.
- The keynote speakers are top-notch and cream of the crop! Take notes and listen. Then, take these best practices home to implement with your business and family.
Ryan Avery was amazing! I’m not just saying that because he was the Dow AgroSciences-sponsored speaker, but because he provided several insights and differences between “A leader” and “THE leader.” One of my favorite takeaways was “you are THE leader when your actions inspire others to take action.” When you’re offering THE product — for example, Sentricon — A leader works to convince a decision-maker to purchase, while THE leader works to connect with the decision-maker to commit to the product.
Silence is the most powerful tool as a communicator. Two words should be removed from our vocabulary: “just” and “only.” Those are minimizing words, and instead we should be proud and demonstrate the value of Sentricon. As Ryan Avery put it, “Words are free, but they cost a lot.”
- As Academy concludes, think about how you can influence and encourage others in your network to attend. Don’t keep this event a secret, but instead invite others and consider returning as a captain. Keep going, doing and leading!