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!

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!

Humility

There are so many great sayings about humility, this one by C.S. Lewis “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less”

However nothing teaches more about humility then horses. You see horses are 1000lb animals that can be completely sane one minute and a bunking bronco the next.  I learned this lesson the hard way yesterday when my bucked me off because ….. well if we figure out why I’d be a millionaire.

Humility in leaders is a tough thing.  You see, we are leaders because of our confidence. We often just KNOW what is the right thing to do and trying to explain that to others is difficult.  Horseback riding has taught me that there is nothing more humbling than riding.

When I fell yesterday, (after my trainer asked if she should call 911) helped me up.  Then another owner in the barn said “nothing teaches more about humility than riding”.

As leaders we must practice humility we must learn that we don’t always have the answers and that sometimes life teaches us that the hard way.  Showing humility does not make us weak, it actually makes us strong.  Of course in the moment, that is a really hard lesson to learn.

As I sat on the ground yesterday I could feel the tears welling up not because I was hurt but because I was embarrassed.  You see I haven’t been riding that long and this is something that only happens to newbies.  I don’t want to be a newbie, I want to be an experienced rider. However, falling happens to EVERYONE!  My trainer who has been riding since before she could walk fell off a horse in May!

This week practice humility think about how you can learn from those around you, and while you might have all the answers sometimes you have take a step back and realize that maybe you aren’t always right!  (Even if you know you are!!)

Then when life teaches you humility you have to get back on!  For me that will mean going to the barn today and literally getting on the horse.  I may not go very far or even walk at all! However I am going to go and see my horse and learn that humility makes me a better person!!