This week we conclude an interview with Dr. Jimmy Smith of the International Livestock Research Institute as he explains those factors which contributed to his success in the agriculture industry.
Interviewer: What were the main success factors throughout your career?
Dr. Smith: It doesn’t matter whether you work hard or you work smart. The key attribute is that your work is visible to those in authority.
We are all in a fish bowl and when working. people are always looking at you.
It is your job to impress them as at some point someone will provide the opportunity you need to get to the next step.
A part of visibility involves interaction with many persons. In the working environment ensure to build trust with your superiors and co workers.
People do business with who they like and trust.
Lastly in the face of serious obstacles such as prejudice, social and cultural differences, and even language barriers, you must be motivated to transcend them.
If you are truly dedicated to the field, you have to make it work for you.
Interviewer: Briefly explain any failures of difficult periods that you have overcome on your way to success.
Dr. Smith: I have not had any major regrets or setbacks.
I refer to any problems as learning experiences and always strive for the best. Of course other persons may think differently.
Interviewer: Do you have any advice for the agri youth of today?
Dr. Smith: Well it is a different time. Agriculture used to be a prominent industry worldwide. But due to major challenges of the past, this has sharply declined. This is not an ideal situation as the world’s population is projected to grow to 10 billion and we would need to produce 70% more food via a drastic increase in productivity.
This is a challenge that the agri-youth must face. However it is an opportunity for youth and other stakeholders to change the outlook of the sector and face this challenge. I hope they succeed.
This brings us to the end of the interview. I’ve learned a lot and I hope you have as well. Stay dedicated!