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.


Not everyone understands the importance of being humble.  Being humble doesn’t mean being weak or submissive it means understanding that you are part of something bigger.  Dictionary.com says “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance”

I was recently talking with my husband about this, and why some people are hired more quickly than others and we both agreed that being humble is probably the key.  Think about this, you are good at your job you understand what you bring to the team however you go into an interview thinking that the company needs you and that you are better than anyone else out there.

You are probably very good at your job and I am sure you bring ALOT to the company however the company is thinking this person isn’t going to fit with their culture.  The minute you come across as the person the company can’t live without they are going to shut down.  They want to hear how you fit, how you are going to enhance the team and how the team is going to enhance you!

Being humble doesn’t mean you are weak or less than someone else, it means being able to understand that you are part of a bigger picture and you fit!

Being a leader often means we humble our selves to serve our teams.  We must know that we don’t know it all, that sometimes our team as a whole knows more than we do and being a great leader means going the extra step to draw that out.

Think about this, the next time a team member comes to you with a problem, you can probably solve it, in fact I am 100% sure you can! However, what would it look like if you said, wow that’s a great question, let’s see if ‘Joe’ can assist?  Joe now feels like he has something valuable to add and the person asking the question feels like they are part of a bigger team.

Being humble can not only make you a great leader it can also land you the best job as well!  The next time think about not only how you can make the team great, but how the team can make you great!

Never Stop learning!

I have recently started taking horse riding/ground work lessons.  Working with a horse is VERY humbling experience because they are smart, way smart and BIG! Like 1500lbs big.  They don’t apologize for the size or the way they operate and you have to earn their respect to get them to do the things they need to.  Add to this they are a prey animal which means they are constantly sure something is trying to kill them and yea it’s a new experience.

For me, I am one of those people who feels confident with everything I do.  Even if I am not sure, I go in with a confidence that I can handle the task.  Training a horse has taught me to be humble, focus on 1 task at a time and to learn that I don’t know it all!!

Being a leader is alot like horse training,  You have to be willing to humble yourself, stop believing you know it all and take it 1 task at a time.

As leaders we often fall into the trap that as leaders we know it all!  That there is nothing that we don’t know, don’t get me wrong being confident is important!  However, being over confident can be deadly!

For example, if I am trying to back my horse up, this is a big deal for them because they can’t see what’s behind them and then have to trust me to not put them in a place that will get them killed.  And trust me ANYTHING can kill them, leaves, dirt, air.. really!!  So the horse has to trust me to not put him in harms way. Just like my team has to trust me that I won’t do anything to put them in harms way.

For people, this is obviously different than horses.  For our team, they want to know that their work is going to be acknowledged, that when they do something right they are going to get the kudos they deserve.  Alternatively if something goes wrong, as a leader we will want to absorb that.  We don’t want to pick on our team unless it’s a serious error that continues to happen and then it becomes a performance issue. Protecting our team is very important!!

Learning is also important as a leader.  We must continue to push ourselves to grow in all areas, even ones we feel good about.  I highly recommend that as a leader you step out of your comfort zone and learn a skill that is not something you would normally do.  This can be just about anything, but being humbled by a skill that we aren’t good at is soo good for all of us!

Learning to humble ourselves and learn something new will make us a better person AND leader!

If you need me I’ll be watching horse training videos and trying to get my 1500lb friend to back up!