Goals

My husband and I recently bought (leased) a new car.  And we had the opportunity to buy the car from my son.  While it was amazing that we got to watch him work, what really struck me was his ability to set goals.

He showed me his calendar where he had written down what days he would buy a car and showed that on those days he did indeed sell a car.

This got me to thinking as leaders do we set goals for ourselves?  I know sometimes I don’t set goals because I am afraid i won’t hit them, but so what! So what if i don’t hit my goal, WHAT IF I DO?

As leaders we are always leading those around us but do we take a moment and set goals for ourselves?  Goals can be big or small, but if we set small goals then we aren’t challenging ourselves we aren’t really pushing our selves to be better!

This week I am going to set some goals for myself, some big some small. I am going to write them down and I am going to set dates for those goals.  I challenge you to do the same! Set some goals for yourself and see what happens in your life!!

Embrace the Quirky

It is not a secret among horse owners that the painted ones are well quirky.  You see they are bred for color while others are bred for speed and to work.  The paints or Pinto’s are bred to be pretty and they are! They are also a bit odd!

As leaders we all have that one person on our team who is a little different and we often get frustrated with them because they don’t fit into our mold.  I had someone on my team once who would not work past 5.  He felt that this was not part of his job, I work in an industry where this is kind of expected.  I had another person who really only excelled in jobs that were very complex.  At first I struggled to led these 2, because well they were quirky!

I learned that I had to motivate them, I had to work with their own specific ideas and once I was able to do that I had 2 great employees! Just like with my horse (who is also a paint) I have to learn what makes him tick.  You see if Keno is trying to bite me when I first take him into the arena I should not ride him that day.  He’s going to be a brat (I wouldn’t ever call a person that but my horse has that down to a science)!  What I do know is that on these days we do alot of ground work and I read his body language.  He might just be telling me that I need to leave him alone to do his own thing.

As leaders we can’t always leave our employees alone, however we can learn that in some situations letting them do their own thing can be the best for everyone!  It’s alot like learning what battles you are willing to take on.  Some days you are going to have to ask the person to stay late or work on something that simply isn’t that fun! However if you spend every day challenging this person, even when it isn’t needed you are going to frustrate both of you and you are going to end up with an employee who resents you!

Learning what works and what doesn’t is going to make you both successful.

This week, figure out what quirks each of your employees have (We all have them) and figure out who you can take those quirks and make them successful WITH them!  Just like I’ll be listening to Keno and if he’s nippy then we’ll be working on our love for corners (Read hate) and maybe just letting him run around with his buddy!

Happy Quirky Leading everyone!

Own your Story!

Inspiration for me comes in so many ways.  My horse, life, books I am reading and today the TV show New Amsterdam.  (if you haven’t watched it I highly recommend it).  In last night’s episode a doctor had a reporter bring up something that happened to him over 10 years ago and his girlfriend/attorney told him to “Own His Story”.

Many years ago, I led in a program in our church called Celebrate the Journey or C the J for short.  It was a group of people in recovery, people needing help on their way and others. I led a group for Blended Families.  Part of the group was a short worship and teaching time.  Often someone would get up and tell their story. I told my story several times during these sessions.

You see owning our story means not only celebrating the good but also acknowledging the bad. Our stories are what make us who we are!  However, often we want to skip over the bad parts, ignore them like they simply didn’t happen.

Except they did!  Those parts, the good and the bad make us who we are today.  They shape us into the leaders we have become.  All good leaders have times in their lives that they liked to forget, times where they didn’t live up to their leadership potential.

What would happen if you told your story to your team?  I don’t mean share you dirty laundry, but I do mean share those times when your leadership faltered.  When you made a decision for yourself instead of your team.  Sharing these stories with your team helps them see you as a human and as someone they can relate to.

Today think about something in your leadership past that you aren’t proud of and share that with your team. If you aren’t comfortable with that share it with someone you trust on the team.  Getting comfortable with your story is the first step!

Once you are comfortable then share it with your team! You won’t regret it!

When you Suck as a leader…

I am reading a book called “The Energy Bus” (website if you want more details http://www.theenergybus.com/) And this book is amazing!  It really has some great insight into being a great leader and how to use your positive Energy to push yourself and others forward.

The book is written around a ficitional character who is a leader in a company that is releasing a new product.  One of the things this character struggles with is getting his team on board with this new idea.  He meets 1×1 with his team and they all pretty much tell him that he is a terrible leader!  One of his people goes on to say that why should he work for him when he never get’s noticed or thanked!

This got me thinking about those times when we just suck as leaders!  Now I  know that ‘Suck’ is a bit of a strong word but frankly it’s true! We all have times where we just aren’t at our best and those times can go on for days, weeks even years unless someone tells us!

We think we are doing so great and being an amazing leader, but our teams are simply floundering because they aren’t seeing the same greatness we are perceiving!

I started wondering about how many times my team would look at me and think, you suck as a leader!  I know I’ve thought it over the years and even said the words out loud to my spouse!  Here’s where good leaders succeed, instead of sitting around thinking we are terrible or wondering how do we get better we look inside and think about what can we change?

What areas do we need to improve and what resources are available to us!  This blog is a good one (if I do say so myself) But good books like the Energy Bus are also great tools.  Now just for the record, I don’t get anything for suggesting this book! I really think it’s a great book!

So here’s a thought for this week… how about you think about ways you Suck as a leader! Seriously think about this for 30 seconds (That’s all you get) Then start to think about the ways you are an amazing leader. Do that for 2 minutes!  Then go around and tell your team what you appreciate about them. If they are remote send an email!  Don’t offer a ton of information just affirm them AND BE SPECIFIC!

Here are some examples, I really love the way you handled that difficult client last week, or thank you so much for taking on that new project, I know you are busy but this really helps the team. Or I really appreciate your positive energy during our meetings, this really helps me!

Now go and Don’t suck as leaders!  And when you start to think about why you aren’t doing so great! GO GET THE ENERGY BUS BOOK!!!

Happy New Year!!

I am not a big person to do resolutions, I mean if you can’t make changes during the year why do you think you can make them on Jan 1.  As leaders I think we often feel this same way.  I’ve been doing this the same way for 10 years, 20 years or even only 2 and why should I change now?

Well to be honest, let’s see just because you do something the same way for years, doesn’t make that way right! Amazing Idea I KNOW!! Sarcasm aside, we all need to take a minute and review how we do things.  Do we belittle, or jump in and take over instead of letting a team member struggle? Do we feel that we always have the answers and if we don’t we are going to be looked upon as less?

This new year, I want you to think about 1 or 2 things that you’ve always done and challenge yourself. BE HONEST!  Is this activity really best for you and the team?  Should you change that activity or behavior?  Is there something that you could do differently that might make your team better?

For me, I want to be in control of everything!  (Hence the falling off the horse a few days ago).  If I am not in control then I get mad, like it’s your fault that I am not in control!  So this year, I am going to work on letting that control go.  Knowing that we all have our faults and just because something happens doesn’t mean A: that it was somehow something I could of controlled and B: identifying when it was my mistake and how can I correct it.

What are the things that you need to look closer at.  Be honest, it’s only yourself you are talking to.  Then think about how you can change that. I will be stopping and counting to 10 on some things… then thinking how can I answer this better, manage this better or understand that this simply has nothing to do with me!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope 2019 is amazing!!!

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!!

Letting them Fail

I am Grey’s Anatomy Junkie! I mean literally I have watched every episode at least 4x.  One episode in general is one of my favorites, not because it is particularly jarring, or has alot of stuff happen but because it’s the one where the Senior Docs make the Residents perform the surgeries on their own and in doing so a few of them fail!

I am a bit fan of letting our kids fail, and not rescuing them, however as leaders we don’t let our teams fail!  We jump in and save them, and sometimes this is a good thing but when it becomes their go to and they aren’t figuring it our for themselves or using their resources then we are doing everyone a disservice.

In one scene the doctors are doing an appendectomy and the doc forgets how to perform this very simple procedure.  The nurse offers advice on what to do next.  By allowing our team to work together and get information from each other we are making sure that they are best team ever.

This week (and after) take a moment when you get a question and see if the person can get that information on their own.  Is there someone else on the team who can help.  I will warn you this is going to frustrate some of your team members, it’s OK!  Let them feel the pain because then there maybe growth!!