What are you Grateful For?

grateful

A huge thank you to Ray Green, pastor and mentor for posting this picture on Facebook today and yes I totally stole it! However as leaders I really think it’s important to know what our teams are grateful for!!  Knowing what makes our team members excited is so important! Knowing that they get excited about playing in a band, hanging with their kids or playing soccer will help us get to know them AND show interest in who they are!

I got a text this weekend from a team member asking how his favorite horse girl was.  We both joined the team at the same time and have gotten to be great friends.  What his text meant was that he cared about me as a person. He listened to what I am passionate about and then asked about it!

As leaders we want to focus on the day to day and forget to listen to our team!!  This week take time to listen to your team!  Find out what they are grateful for and see if you can’t find something to ask about at your next meeting!

 

 

 

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!

Do what you Love

Most of us are not so lucky that we go to a job every day that we love! I would guess that even those who do their favorite job have days where it really just kind of SUCKS!  You know the days where life is getting in the way, you have a difficult client or you simply made a mistake that you have to recover from.

We all have days like this, in fact if we didn’t we’d be dead or retired (Not sure which sometimes) however the goal should be to find the stuff in your day that you Love to do!

Yesterday was just busy, I did 5 productions and each one takes about 2 hours to complete (each).  This is combined with all the normal stuff and well my day was crazy.  At 5 I was ready to either be done or cry, and I still had to get ready to go to my riding lesson. I thought about just canceling, I mean really who cares if I learn to ride (well I do but that’s another story).

I finally stood up and figured I’d go, but it was in that moment that God reminded me that I choose to Ride because it brings me JOY! Is it easy, nope, are there days I am sure I am going to die YUP! But I get to saddle up, and get on a horse. I get to focus on doing something better, and I get to enjoy being with animals who simply love life.

Yesterday I was reminded that we all need to find the joy in our lives.  And trust me some days it is way harder than others, but seek it out!  Each of us is different in the way we find joy!  But its important as leaders that we model this for our teams.  Ask your teams what do they do that they love! Could be sailing or rock climbing or running or whatever it is!  The one thing that recharges them and then encourage them to do that thing!

You see in my industry, we have people who work 24/7 I mean literally 24/7 and it becomes easy to get caught up in that constant push to get stuff done.  You don’t ever walk away you don’t ever take a breath. This isn’t good!  Don’t do this!  Lean on your team and if you don’t have one build one!  Your overall health depends on you finding your joy!!

So share what’s your joy? What’s the one thing that you could do forever?

Is this the hill you want to die on?

I am one of those people who just wants to be right!  (Ask my family they will confirm this!) However as a leader it becomes a bit of a dicey thing if you push to be right no matter what.  Recently I got into a disagreement with a co-worker about something so trivial.  However, I ‘knew’ I was right!  OK So I was right and she was wrong, BUT what I did by pushing my ‘rightness’ may have harmed a relationship that needs to be cared for.

You see my being right or my being wrong really didn’t matter in the long run. It simply was something that I wanted to win in the moment, however doing so could of caused me to harm the relationship I have with that person. As leaders we have to ask ourselves if this is the hill we want to die on.

You see by asking ourselves how much does this really matter (is this the hill I want to die on) we can really determine if this is something that is really important. Sometimes the answer might be yes, and guess what THAT IS OK! However asking yourself that question gives you a pause to really see if this is a battle you want to win.

I struggle with conflict, so for me I really have to ask the question and then ask again.  For me, sometimes it should be a hill I want to die on but I am too afraid of the conflict.  In this situation it was something really dumb, and I just wanted to be right, well to be right! (not the hill I was willing to go on)

In your next conflict ask yourself if this is the hill you want to die on!

Want to keep up with me and my new horse? Check out my articles on Horseclicks.com

 

Contributor Rosette

Bad Horse Leader Baaddd….

Hello fellow followers! I am so excited to tell you about my new horse Zora (Aka The Queen) She is an OTTB Rescue who is slowly learning that humans are not so bad. She had some bad experiences after she retired and it’s taking her some time to learn that we aren’t all terrible.

We are all familiar with what makes a good or bad leader.  I am sure if you stopped for a moment you could think of at least 1 person in your life that was a great leader and 1 person who couldn’t lead themselves out of a paper bag.  I am guessing if horses could talk they’d probably have a few examples themselves.  I am pretty sure there are days both of my horses are looking at me like they’d prefer I was in a paper bag than standing there trying to teach them something.  More often than not I ‘think’ I am doing it right and they ‘know’ I am doing it wrong!

The other day I was working with the Queen on her backing up.  She is a rescue we’ve owned for about a month.  She had been with the rescue for about a year and was used mainly in their lesson program.  She is AMAZING under saddle, but on the ground she has some issues.  She had been abused prior to her being rescued so anytime you tried to touch her face she pretty much threw her head up and backed up.  (Imagine trying to halter this horse!)

We’ve been working on the concept of pressure and release from pressure and she is doing great!  She is smart and really figures stuff out quickly.  Next came the movement of her feet and the lesson about backing up.  So I stand in front of her and swish the rope. She jumps back and really gives me a wary look. OK Something isn’t right. Of course my daughter who is also my partner in crime is trying to not grab the rope from me.

She steps up and reminds me that my leadership is more pushing than leading.  You see my motions were simply too large for Zora. She needed me to make my initial movement smaller.  She was reacting to my over-reacting.  As leaders we often do the same we find something we need to correct with our team and we think that we have to go big to make the correction. Our team over-reacts because of our too big reaction.

Why not start small, have a 1×1 conversation, explain what you are seeing and why that might not be the best for the team. Then if things still don’t improve your actions can get bigger.  Just like me teaching Zora to backup I need to start with smaller motions and if she doesn’t react to that, then I can swing the rope bigger and finally I can then add a quick strike if she still isn’t moving her feet.  Now please don’t go hitting your co-workers! But you can progress from small to big.

Alot of times the issue is more of a miscommunication than someone really trying to do the wrong thing.
What ways have you found that you tend to react bigger than  you should? How can you resolve that?

 

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!