Extension work involves carrying out plans. Each small step begins with a well-thought-out plan. Carrying out plans is the art of doing well-defined and specific tasks while remaining clear about an overall purpose. Paradoxically, one needs to keep little details and larger goals clear at the same time. Good extension work both accomplishes concrete tasks (details) on the farm and enables farmers to accomplish more themselves (larger goal). This is a management approach to work.
By carefully researching plans and defining tasks and commitments, extensionists and co-workers can orchestrate a high level of motivation for a particular project. When the personal interests of the farmers are in line with work plans, the farmers are motivated to work. When that link is not established, motivation for that particular work is lacking. Extensionists must learn to formulate work plans with the motivation of participants in mind.
A management-approach to work does not have to be formal and inflexible. In most village settings, this is neither possible nor appropriate. Work can be thorough and well-organized while being informal and flexible. There is a great deal of difference between informally-planned and unplanned work. Unplanned work does not serve farmers well.
The illustrations for each subchapter of this manual describe how to carry out extension plans. For example, to see how to work well with co-workers, see Chapter Three, SERVICES, subchapter "Working with Countertparts". In order to capture a whole picture of the management of a two year tour of duty, read the Case Studies in Appendix A.
Resources for carrying out extension work are included at the end of each subchapter of this manual. They are the most specific tools for carrying out plans. This chapter provides more detailed tools for planning and evaluating work, the two skills most commonly associated with management.
A partial list of common interests which animate the work of extensionists' counterparts and co-workers:
• Financial security
• Financial access to goods normally unavailable in villages
• Pride in work, an outlet for skills
• Community recognition as a technician or leader
• Advancement in ministry hierarchy
• Friendship and access to American culture
• Opportunities for further formal or informal training