NAADA eNewsletter
November 2015

NAADA Connections

From the President

Keith Barber, NAADA President, University of Tennessee

Keith BarberRecently I read an article titled “The Collaboration Paradox:  Why Working Together Often Yields Weaker Results” (Friedman, R. taken from Tip of the Morning, Nov. 20, 2015).  The piece noted several reasons why group collaborations don’t always produce high level results.  Referring to research on the subject, the author reported that 1) collaborations undermine creativity (produce a false sense of confidence while ignoring outside points of view), 2) induce pressures to conform (to the majority view), 3) promote laziness (depending on others to get the job done), and 4) are levied an opportunity tax (what it costs in time, etc. while one is collaborating).  The article intrigued me.

Upon first read, I found myself defensive.  It’s almost expected in higher education to work with others on projects.  Then I re-read the piece and realized that I could see when groups of which I had been a part produced those characteristics noted in the article, effectively minimizing our overall success.  So I re-read it for a third time.  On this read I began to think about the creativity that often emerges from collaborations.  Now I was talking to myself:  “Could I have been creative alone?”  “Was the group success limited because we listened to the person who spoke up the most?”  “Could we have accomplished more had we individually pursued the end result?”

After batting this around (sans a group), I brought it up with my wife, who in our unified conclusion, is opposite from me when it comes to group dynamics.  We surmised that perhaps both approaches – collaboration and independence – have places in our lives.  Sometimes a group can help jump start a creative process that leads to great results; but to achieve best outcomes, one may need to collect his/her thoughts and follow up on details in solitude.  Once these two steps occur, coming back into group mode can bring the details into big picture focus, leading to a successful conclusion.

Think about the collaborative efforts you’ll engage in today.  How will your teamwork results compare to those from your independent work?  How about NAADA?  Contributions from teams as well as from individuals drive us.  A healthy dose of both is perhaps the best method.

I look forward to hearing from you,


What makes a leader trustworthy?

Jennifer Shike, NAADA Secretary, University of Illinois College of ACES

How would you rank your trust in your boss? How would your employees, family, spouse, friends, etc., rank their trust in you?

I was challenged by David Horsager, author of The Trust Edge, to think about this more deeply at the University of Illinois Extension’s Exceeding the Vision Conference last week. I’ve been fortunate to hear many great speakers, but David stood out as one of the best I’ve heard in some time for his powerful message about trust.

Horsager set the stage by defining trust as a confident belief in a person, product, or organization. As trust increases, he explained, so does output, morale, retention, productivity, innovation, loyalty and revenue. As trust decreases, costs, problems, skepticism, attrition, time to market, and stress increase. It’s easy to see why companies with high trust levels outperform companies with low trust levels by 186%.

Here are a few of his key points in discussing the eight pillars of the most trusted leaders.

  1. Clarity. We trust the clear and mistrust the ambiguous. Any time you add complexity to what you do, you lose trust. If you have more than three priorities at a time, you really don’t have any.

  2. Compassion. It turns out that compassion affects trust and the bottom line more than you think. LAW of Compassion. L-Listen. A-Appreciate. W-Wake up and be present. Nobody gets enough appreciation. Want to kill someone’s self-esteem? Tell them good job when it wasn’t. Notice what others do. Appreciation changes things.

  3. Character. Do what needs to be done when it needs to be done whether you feel like it or not. It’s the work of life to do what is right rather than what is easy. People love people who do what they say they will do.

  4. Competence. Input leads to output. The energy you put in is exactly the same as what you put out. The thoughts you put in lead to the desires which lead to actions. If input matters, how am I staying fresh, relevant and capable?

  5. Commitment. Commitment breeds commitment. Every time you make a commitment you can’t make, you lose trust in yourself. The only way to rebuild trust in yourself and others’ trust in you is to make and keep a commitment.

  6. Connection. There are repelling traits and magnetic traits of people. The #1 trait of the most magnetic people in the world is gratitude.

  7. Contribution. You can have compassion and character, but if you never contribute the results, it doesn’t make an impact. Getting the right results matters. There are two sides of contribution – daily contributor to myself (how do I get the most important things done?) and How do we motivate others?

  8.  Consistency. We trust sameness. It’s the little things, done consistently, that make the biggest difference.

Adavancement Data Search - Reminder to Enter Your Institution's Data

Jamie Lucero, NAADA Vice President, Virginia Tech, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

What’s in it for me?

  • Benchmarking against your peers
  • Ideas for new programs
  • Access to best practices

Work with your campus contact today to contribute to the database through your institutional profile on the NAADA website.

A list of all of the questions are here to ease in collection of the data from each of your units.

Search anytime at:

There Is Still Time to Renew Your NAADA Membership!

Campus contacts should to go to and log in to your member profile, select Manage Profile and then the Memberships button. If you have forgotten your password, please contact the NAADA at 651-203-7246 or email You will then select to pay online or download an invoice if you wish to pay via check. NAADA accepts both Visa and MasterCard online; when you renew online, you will have the option to print a receipt as well. Once your membership has been renewed, we will send each individual on your membership a reminder to update their personal profiles. Annual dues payments were requested by October 31, 2015, so please renew today!

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our new NAADA members. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!

Grace Wittman, University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Volunteer Track

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