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!

Investments

Along my journey there have been people who invested in me. Whether they did this intentionally or as part of their DNA they made a difference in me!  One of those people probably doesn’t even realize the impact she made on my life. About 5 years ago I decided I wanted to move into Project management.  I really felt that with my customer service focus and technical experience this would be a great fit for me.

She not only invested in me but she affirmed my dream, telling me that I could do it!  That I would not only be good, but I would be excellent!  It was another 2 years before I realized my dream but now I am securely in my position and looking to take the next step.

You see I had doubts about if I could do this job, and she didn’t even hesitate to say YES! To say you got this!!  So many times people need help believing they can achieve their dreams.  We may feel that we aren’t sure, or question if this is the right dream for them, what if we instead we had faith!  Instead of doubt we said YES!

I know from experience sometimes our doubt isn’t on their ability but on our own insecurities.  What if this person exceeds us?  What if they are better?  You may not want to admit this but dig deep you may find this is actually true!

This week ask your team what their dreams are!! What do they hope to do?  Then tell them they can do it!  Be honest and be strong!! They can reach their goals and you can help them!!

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!!

When Leaders become followers

Many of us have been in situations where we were once the leader but now we are followers.  This has been the situation for me as I have moved from one area of business to another.  This choice was something I made intentionally and a path that I felt was the best for me personally.  However, the transition is not always an easy one.

How do we as leaders handle the process of becoming the one who is being told what to do?  Often this is a difficult transition because we are leaders!  This is in our DNA and having to take direction from someone else becomes difficult.

If you think about how police departments or fire departments work you see organizations where it is very important that everyone knows their roles.  You need clearly identified leaders and people who are executing the direction.  If you imagine a car crash where things are happening very quickly and lives are at stake.  The leader on the scene is directing what is happening.  This person is making sure that everyone lives and is safe!

Most of our jobs don’t mean that people die if we don’t do our jobs correctly. However I am sure most of us think the people we work with sometimes feel this way!!

So how do we make this transition, first we must get rid of the thought that we are the leader and therefore we know better than the person who is put in charge as our leader!  We all have things we can learn and if we go into the situation with an open mind it will make the transition easier!

Next, we have to stop thinking that if we were the leader we would do the job better!  I am very guilty of this!  Instead see how your leader handles situations and what they did well!  Think about how you could learn from the situation.

Finally, show respect!  So first of all stop rolling your eyes at me and saying that you DO respect them because if you think about if for a moment you probably have had moments where you don’t.  Again I am super guilty of this!!

By going into the situation with a respectful attitude we can really transition into the follower role!

Stay tuned for the next post where we address this from the Leader perspective.

Long time no write!

HI Everyone, it’s been a while since I posted.  I apologize for that, I was recovering from a broken pelvis I experienced due to a fall from my horse!  The good news I am on the mend and doing so much better!

While being laid up I spent alot of time watching Television.  I watched everything from My 600lb life to Toddlers and Tiara’s.  (You have no idea how happy I am to be back working again!)

Today I was catching up on some missed shows and I caught a recap episode of undercover boss.  The boss was talking about LISTENING to his employees, and hearing what they had to say.

As leaders it’s easy for us to say that we listen to our teams and our people, but do we really hear them.  When someone tells you that they have an idea of improvement do you listen and then immedataely toss the idea aside because it requires too much work or you just think it can’t be done?

What if, instead you listened with an open mind to the ideas the team is sharing?  You thought about how that may make your organization better and more efficient?

What if, instead of sitting behind a desk you asked the questions?

As leaders (really just as people) we want life to be easy.  We don’t want to have to work hard!

This week, ask your team for 1 idea each on how things can improve and then instead of thinking “this isn’t going to work” or “this is really just a dumb idea” (don’t say you would never say that, we all do!), think about how that could work, how could that make things better for everyone?

Take a moment and see how these ideas may make your organization better!!

Good luck and welcome back

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!!