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Five lessons learnt by a BGAJ chairman

By 6th April 2020July 27th, 2023No Comments

In March, Catherine Linch stood down after two years as chairman of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists. 

Olivia Cooper was voted in to the role and is already up and running with meetings and events to plan.

As she left, Catherine imparted five pearls of wisdom she learnt from the role.

Here they are.

1: Reach out
The BGAJ has a great following and reaching out to members has provided strong direction of travel for my leadership role. We asked members to step forward to act as spokespeople on a national media platform and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

2: Explore new opportunities
The BGAJ collaboration with Anna Jones and Just Farmers was sparked by the recognition that we shared a mutual goal. We didn’t know where it would take us at the outset, but it’s paid off.

3: Keep an open mind
I’m used to ‘being the boss’ in the day job, but heading up an independent organisation with a team of volunteer directors, all from different places of work and backgrounds isn’t the same and it’s even more important to be adaptable to differing perspectives.

4: Collaborate and be decisive
These two facets do go hand in hand and as long as you do the former, it’s easier to do the latter in order to get work done and keep the cogs turning; a decisive hand is hugely important.

5: Keep smiling
Being approachable, talking to people and being positive are vital traits for any leadership role.
“My very best wishes go out to my successor Olivia Cooper,” Catherine added.

Catherine Linch served as Chairman of the British Agricultural Journalists between 2018 and 2020.

She has worked in agri-business PR and communications for over 20 years and is managing director of Herefordshire based PR agency Pinstone.