Stop IT!

This is going to be a bit different than my normal blogs, but it still has a leadership message. This is geared toward my lady followers!  Men don’t seem to have as much an issue with this!  Ladies, still with me? Ok good!

So I am going to show my age, but who remembers the Bob Newhart show? Ok how about the episode where he tells the women to Stop it or he’ll bury her alive in a box? Seriously go check it out, I’ll wait! Here’s a link

Bob Newhart As Brief Therapist: “Stop It!”

OK  are you back?  Good, here is are my 5 words that will make you an amazing leader

STOP TEARING OTHER WOMEN DOWN!

Seriously, it’s that freakin simple! You see I spoke with a young woman today who is a leader in her field.  She’s 24, and yes, she’s made mistakes, but she’s got her own business and she’s freakin kickin (you know what)

She told me today that she was going to a place where the women would tear her down because something very simple.  In an effort to protect her I am not going to share the details, but seriously, they are going to tear her down because WHAT?

Ladies, as women in leadership it is our job to raise up other women leaders. We need to invest in each other, we need to build each other up!  We need to NOT tear each other down.  This young woman is an amazing leader who is investing in other young women!  And yet here we are making her feel small so we feel big?! WHAT???

Seriously if you have to make someone feel small so you feel big, what is that?  You are not a leader, if you feel that you have to make others feel small.  This isn’t leadership! Leadership is building each other up, helping each other navigate life.

I am not saying that we should be fake, I am saying that we should support.  Speak truth in love when needed and support. But when we get petty ladies it makes us all look bad!

This week! Your job is to find a female leader and TELL her how much admire her and why!  Build her up, tell her she makes a difference and then when someone around you tears another woman down, stand up for her!  We can make a difference.

Leaders as Learners

Yesterday while working with my horse I realized the things she has taught me.  Like how to be less afraid and how to just NOT give up!  I was talking with my trainer about another lady she works with and how learning at any age can’t stop. I mentioned that at 48 I figured I was a bit older than her other student but that at our age we can’t stop learning.

She shared that her other student is 57!  I share this because she started riding 2 years ago and has been working at it every day.  As we grow older we tend to think that there isn’t anything new for us to learn.  We focus on ourselves, our spouses, children or grandchildren.  However, there is still so much for us to learn and those experiences are going to come in alot of shapes and sizes.

Learning doesn’t have to be structured and it doesn’t have to be specifically about being a leader.  Take a class, join a club, learn to paint, work with wood or weld! (Yes welding is one of my secret dreams)

You see when we seek out learning opportunity’s we grow in every other area of our lives.  We learn to be learners!!  We also learn to take risks and to seek new ways to experience life!

This week seek out ways that you can grow and learn! You won’t be disappointed!

True Leadership

True leadership is sacrifice, doing the right thing when you are tired, worn out and just ready to go home.  That is true leadership and I saw it today!  This lovely face is Zzora1

She joined our family 2 weeks ago.  She is a rescue 15/16/17 (her age is up for grabs) OTTB.  Which means she’s been mistreated was bred to go fast and isn’t sure who she is.  So yea we adopted her because that is what we do.  I’ve been teaching her manners on the ground. Today she decided that she didn’t like something, a smell a sound, pressure, you name it. She backed all the way down the stalls until she had backed into a corner where finally stopped. I yelled for help from our trainer who promptly came running along with one of the guys who takes horses in and out.  (Side note you can tell they don’t like this horse because of her issues)

My trainer (who is amazing) was at a show for the last 4 days.  Showing horses, sleeping in a hotel, etc.  She had just gotten back when we pulled in and I am sure she was tired, hot, dirty and really ready to go home. Instead she spent 15 minutes with my crazy horse helping her get her brain back.  Did she have to do this? Nope she could of said put her back in her stall I will work with her.  Instead she got into the arena with us and worked with Zora.  She helped me navigate that moment and several after.

You see leaders know that their leadership isn’t on a clock, that even if they are tired, or hot or sick or just not into it that they still have to lead.  And in that moment they don’t stop to think about it they just do!

Leaders do where others wait, or think or stop.  Super loud shoutout to my trainer who just did today and who made me feel like I wasn’t alone or stupid or anything else…

And to those of you who lead, we see you!  You aren’t alone!  And thank you!!

Enjoy the moment

Dandelion seeds flying in the wind.

On my way to pick up Nic from the barn yesterday I saw an older teen blowing the seeds on the dandelion.  My reaction was one of amazement.  Here is a girl who was probably 15 or 16 stopping to do something that as a kid we all loved – much to our parent’s dismay I am sure!

What struck me was that she stopped long enough to pick up the dandelion and blow on it and then watched the seeds fly through the air.  These simply little things seem so mundane in our adult leader driven lives.  We tell ourselves we don’t have time to blow on dandelions, but why not?  What is so hard about stopping for 5 minutes to do something that brings joy!

Many of you are probably out there going  “please don’t do that, they are weeds and now I have to get rid of them!” (My husband being the first one – love you honey!) However, so much of our lives are dictated by what we must get done.  We must write that report, go to that meeting, call that client back, answer that email. And yes those are all really important things but so is blowing the dandelion!

What if this week you took 5 minutes every day and put your phone down.  You stopped to enjoy the simple movement of the clouds or the birds outside your window?  Then what if you asked your team what things they enjoy doing to unwind? It can be something as simply as sitting outside with a drink and a book or going for a walk with the dog.

As leaders we think we have to go every minute of every day, but guess what! WE DON’T!  Yea I know we feel like we do and I am certainly not saying that you should spend hours ignoring your job, but 5 or 10 minutes a day will recharge you!

It isn’t a secret on here that for me recharging is riding.  I get on the horse and all I can think about for that time is that!  But even that requires alot of brain and physical work.  What am I doing that doesn’t require either and doesn’t have any electronics with it?

We need to make sure that as leaders we are recharging, or we will burn out no matter how much you love your job!  But we also need to encourage our team to do the same.  You’ve all heard speed of the leader speed of the team?  Well this means here as well!

Today, I want everyone to go out and blow the dandelion! I mean it literally go find one and blow on it.  Don’t take a picture of it, don’t post it on Insta, Facebook, SnapChap, Twitter or anything else!  Just do it!  Then take a deep breath and go back to what you were doing before!  I bet you’ll feel better!

What Horses Teach us…

I feel like this is one of those, everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten type post!  It sort of is when I say that everything I learned I learned from a horse!

You see horseback riding is alot like a dance (credit to my trainer!) and in this dance your partner is a 1000lb animal who doesn’t speak the language and generally has it’s own idea of what the dance should look like (and quick tip it does not start with you on it’s back!)

You see when you get on a horse for the first time or the 1000th time the horse has to adjust to what you want! The horse does not want to walk around in circles going fast and slow. It does not want to walk over water by roads, or over tree limbs. It wants to go hang out with his buddies in a pasture where it can eat, sleep and lay in the sun! (Yes they do lay down but that’s another post)

When you get on the horse you have to adjust your idea AND make sure the horse knows you are the boss.  You can get the idea across by being mean just like you can when you lead.  But the horse is probably going to take it for a while then dump you… literally! Or you can get on the horse and you can encourage the horse to go in the direction you want. You do this with multiple aids, your body, feet, reins and pressure.

The horse I am currently riding is an old draft horse. He’s big, slow and would much rather be in  his stall. In fact yesterday I walked over with his halter and he left. Literally walked out of his stall into the mud.  This was his way of telling me that he was just not that into me!  (My trainer did explain to him that we were riding and he finally agreed)

You see I could of yelled and hit him but all that does is show him that I am mean.  Why do we think this is ok as leaders? We get mad at our team because they are human and don’t want to do some of the stuff we are asking.  Instead of getting mad, why don’t we encourage them.  Share how this is helping them and the team!

Reward them when they are done.  My horse got apples and carrots yesterday.  Now when I go back on Wednesday to ride he’s going to remember that this human is OK.  She gives treats!

As leaders we need to remember that we are doing a dance with our team.  We are the leader but we are going to get our team to go in the direction we want if we approach it in a more friendly manner.

Taking risks

How many times have we made a decision to do something only to either not do it at all or only do it half way because we were scared of the outcome?

Recently a friend of mine posted a message on facebook about how she is trying to justify her job decision.  You see she choose to take a job with a start up where she’s not getting paid. She’s had to work other jobs to pay her bills….

BUT she loves what she’s doing.  She get’s up everyday with a strong sense of purpose and excitement.  She get’s up EXCITED to do her job!  Now I understand that not all of us can make this type of decision as far as our jobs are concerned.  We may have people relying on us and simply taking a job where we don’t get paid isn’t always an option.

However, how often do we simply NEVER make a change because we just are either too afraid or not willing to put in the work to make the change.

You see my friend has had to go back to working in a restaurant, a job she thought she gave up for something in her field.  However, she made a choice, one that was a bit uncomfortable to get to where she wanted to be!

I have been struggling with this lately.  Trying to find the ability to take the risk I want to do what brings me joy!  I want to be like my friend, and I will!

As leaders, it is our job to push our team to take those risks!  Even if it means they leave us!  We want to push them to be better and to do what brings them the most joy!!

Leader to Follower … Leaders Perspective

Leaders, we’ve all had that person on our team who was once a leader and is now a follower on our team.  They may have changed industries, jobs or intentionally taken a step back. Anyway it happened they are now on our team and we know that they were leaders in their previous jobs.

How do we handle this?  It can often seem a bit scary because we may question our own leadership when confronted with someone who was a previous leader especially if they are high energy leaders!

First, acknowledge that they are a leader!  Don’t ignore it, or try to ‘put them in their place’.  Next get them on your side!  Seek their input, get them involved in leadership of the team and other team members!

Essentially USE THEM to your advantage.  Trying to ignore it, or making them feel small will only demean your own leadership!

There maybe times when you have to provide them with negative feedback.  This can be scary if you are not confident in your own leadership.  Seek feedback from other leaders prior to speaking with them and then talk with them as another leader.  Leaders should always be seeking feedback both negative and positive!

Provide the feedback by letting them know the issue and then asking them for their input. Don’t talk at them, instead of saying “you messed up and the client is mad” ask for their feedback.  Let them know you received feedback that the client isn’t happy with a current situation.  Ask how they would handle this in the future. My guess is that they know they messed up and they have already beat themselves up over it.

Asking them how they would handle it in the future will allow them to know that you trust them and will not undermine them as leaders.

It is never easy when leading other leaders, but you can do it! And it will make you a better leader!