Strength in Nature

When the map you're following is wrong!

We've all been there. We did everything we were supposed to do, but somehow, we just didn't get the expected results. We followed the map, but we didn't get to where we wanted to go.

Recently, we were hiking in the mountains. The trail map was wrong.  This happens in the mountains. Trails become overgrown or unused. Winter and spring destroy trails faster than maps and trail markers can be updated. To survive, we need to be aware of our surroundings.

Situational awareness means that even though we are following the instructions, we are checking in with our environment. As leaders, we cannot always follow the plan. We need to be constantly checking in to see if our plan is working. In business, we use Key Activity Indicators; in life use our friends, coaches, and confidants for feedback. We use the feedback to modify the plan.

Perhaps we picked the wrong map. Perhaps the map is outdated. When we first detect that something is wrong, we must spend time seeking out the cause,...

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Resilience and Self - Reliance

On a recent adventure, it was my son's turn to navigate the trail. The map was challenging. The trails weren't always marked correctly. We took solace in taking [A LOT of] trail photography. I discovered that he is/was fascinated by the snails. We're talking maybe 100 photos of these little guys along the trail.

When we discussed the snail, I loved how he recognized the importance of simplicity and resilience of carrying its shell on its back. It got me thinking...

What is resilience? It is the ability to overcome. Snails are able to hitch a ride to new homes by surviving being eaten by birds. It's an amazing and fun fact, and it's true. It is a great example of resilience.

Landing in a new area, snails already have their home with them.  Their self-reliance helps them survive being eaten and dropped, both literally and figuratively, into new situations.

As leaders, we need to look for inspiration for ourselves and support others as they develop their own resilience and...

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My trail crew

Simon Sinek says, "Start with Why."

Here is a quick introduction to why leadership and leadership skills are so important to me: my husband and our son. With a pre-teen in our house mindset, challenges, and leadership skills are every day conversations.  Although I have coached and developed thousands of employees in various capacities throughout the years, my most difficult challenge is parenting. Family members who live with you know your every weakness. A pre-teen navigating life's changes is adept at negotiating. 


Our family seeks refuge in the mountains a few times a year, hiking in National Parks and Forests. During these times, we challenge our minds and our bodies. Not every adventure turns out as planned. However, we try to learn from these adventures.

The summer of 2020 was no different. After a harrowing event on the water in which part of the craft broke off, my son and I realized that we could work together peacefully under extremely trying (and little...

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