Learning to Lead

I am a leader in life, no question, but leading in business and leading a team is a journey more complex than I had ever imagined. I truly find all the elements fascinating. Learning to lead individual team members who all learn and achieve their greatness in different ways is something I never really thought about before. I have only ever had to be accountable for myself, and having a strong work ethic, moral compass, and being a high achiever, it was easy for me to succeed on my own. Changing roles has made me look deeper into why I valued leaders I once had. What did they do that made me feel inspired? 

I am a Mother who is not only comfortable pushing the boundaries with my kids but one who is not afraid of the challenges that come along with them. You learn to do what you need to do to get your kids through the tough times and enjoy the calm before the next storm. I am an advocate to the core for the humans I am raising and that will always be front and centre in my life. I feel no different now with my team. I will be their advocate and go to bat for them when they need me to, and I will challenge them to push their boundaries to succeed. 

I jumped blindly into the Financial world and although I wasn’t sure where my creative brain would fit in, I accepted the challenge to see where I could take it. Four years in as a Financial Advisor, I worked hard to built my reputation in a business that knew nothing about me. I came from an industry where my reputation was known to be solid for the better part of my 20’s and 30’s and left to better balance my family. 

I was chosen to lead the team I had been part of and excelled within for a year. When you go from team-mate to team-lead sometimes the transition can be awkward depending on the player within your team. Fortunately mine recognized the passion I had for our department and my want for all of us to succeed together. 

My performance leader took on a role that was her passion shortly after I made the commitment, a commitment that was partially based on having her as my mentor, so needless to say I was forced to adapt and embrace the change quickly. 

My perception of what was going to transpire over the next year, was turned upside down. It had to either get on or jump off, the train was leaving and plan B had become a distant option. I felt the surge of energy inside me rise to the challenge. I hit the road running, learning and adapting to the change as we ran full speed ahead. I took more notes than I ever had and did my own due diligence at every opportunity so I was prepared at any given moment.  At times I felt like I was in survival mode. Most important, I learned to listen. I listened more than I have ever listened before. What was given information I would not have been privy to had my leader stayed, as a replacement was nowhere in sight. I learned the back end of how my department ran and being a seeker of knowledge that was the gift.   

I take my role very seriously, at times I think too seriously but I want to leave a legacy and change the lives of my team in a positive inspiring way. I want them to think of me as helping facilitate their next step. The importance of helping them achieve their own personal goals has turned into one of my personal goal. I want to see them spread their wings and fly, to the moon if that’s what they are aiming for. 

I think of my team as I would my kids. They are here now, but what a great accomplishment to see them succeed on their own one day. My kids have challenged me throughout the years, my son in-particular, but not once did I ever think of voting him out of the family (okay, maybe once) or putting him up for adoption. In all honestly what parent in their right mind would adopt a man-boy who didn’t see the importance of a clean bathroom and/or bedroom and continually drank out of the jug. (I would vote him most improved family member if we were to cast our ballots today) My point is, you give your kids chance after chance to learn and grow and hone their life skills and show compassion and patience with them along the way, your team should also be given the same respect. 

I didn’t think being a Mom would directly help me in my career, but it truly has. My leadership role has also helped me become a better Mom. 

“Great leaders are like parents, they create the environment, so that people that are in their charge become better.” 

“How do I help my people be their natural best!” ~ Simon Sinek That simply says it all! 

When I co-created Tara Cronic with two Women of Wisdom our goal was to inspire women to lead their most authentic lives. We soon realized that we had a great deal of male followers so adapted and practiced inclusion. All three of us are leaders in our own right. We are all successful women in our own lines of business. Each of us would consider ourselves great parents, and all have a strong voice which we intended to share in order to connect authenticlaly. Authenticity to me is the key to a great connection, whether it be in your personal life or in your business circle. What we shared on Tara Cronica was who we were while we were “Exploring the Never Ending Desires that Fuel All Life While Find Lyrical Beauty in Everyday Happenings” which became our mission statement.  

Tara Cronica helped me learn the importance of using my voice to instigate change, inspire others to live authentic lives, and lead with courage. Steve Jobs commencement speech to Stanford University had a part in it that I think of often. He said do what you love and one day you will look back and connect the dots. The dots may not make sense at the time, but they will eventually. I am connecting my dots. 

The training and support that has come with my leadership role is invaluable! I leave each course wanting more. The women and men who have supported me along the way are all mentors to me. I truly believe they honesty care. I can’t tell you how many times I have googled leadership to find more information about the path I am traveling. I had no idea leadership could be so enlightening! As I learn to lead I find out more about myself that challenges who I am. I am continuously being pushed out of my comfort zone and it’s exhilarating to say the least. 

Learning to lead has sparked an ember that I fan each day. The sky is the limit in my world.

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Coaching and Sports!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACQUIE!! XOXO

Coaching has a huge influence on a child’s ability to excel. Good coaching can make or break your child’s experience in sports or any other extracurricular activity they partake in. You don’t really appreciate a good coach until you experience a questionable one. A coach can either send a child to the next level with the tools to move up or they have the ability to coach a child’s natural instinct right out of them.

I appreciate anyone who has taken on the task of coaching kids, it can be a challenge! A coach has to get to know your child in a short amount of time, assess them using their instinct to figure out where they fit best into the team, and at what level they should be playing. Every parent deep down just wants their child to be challenged and given the same opportunity to develop as the rest of the team. Having a great group of kids and parents is the ideal for development and fun in sports! With positive encouragement they will excel in leaps and bounds!

The coaches philosophy is what’s important, I would rather have my child coached by someone with integrity whom I would like to also spend time with than someone who only strives to win! A great coach not only teaches the skill of the sport, but shows by example what it is to be a good winner and loser. We all learn from mistakes, we don’t gain as much from winning as we do from losing. Losing teaches us how we can improve next time and has a way of humbling our egos. Winning definitely feels better and is the pay off for hard work. But sometimes even with lots of hard work we still don’t win. That’s what I love about watching sports, at play off time, it can be anyones game.

I’ve always told both my kids that there will always be someone who is better than you and someone who isn’t, what’s important is being the best you can be for yourself. Set goals and strive to reach them. Reaching goals goes hand in hand with making compromises in other areas of your life, no junk food, missing the school dance, hours of practise and most important, discipline. There is always someone else doing more than you are willing to do!

In all sports rivalries arise, and everything changes. It becomes Good vs Evil. When it’s about the other team losing and not about winning, you have to step back and think why you want to win, not why you want them to lose! If it’s because you want to kick their sorry asses because their coach got under your skin or you can’t stand to look at the gloating parents any longer, that’s wrong! lol Although it’s an enticing gamble, if you do win it feels just that much sweeter when you beat a team who doesn’t play fair. Good should prevail over Evil, right?

Sometimes teams who don’t play fair win too, that’s a part of life, it’s how you react to this is what makes you who you are and shows a great deal about your character. Do you continue to play your game, clean and fair with integrity or lower yourself to their game? Anyone who has played sports themselves or have kids in sports knows teams such as these with reputation for unfair play or parents who turn into monsters while the game is on! We all get caught up in the moment from time to time. I am not proud to say I have rung my cow bell in the direction of some opposing parents to rub in a goal, I am only human. This happens when passion for sport turns into obsession of winning at all costs! Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that IT’S A GAME! No one wants to lose to their nemesis, nothing sucks more, it feels better when defeat is to a team you feel is worthy of winning, one you would be proud to lose against. If you both played fair and hard and can appreciate the other teams skill, that is what it’s all about!

My son Jesse’s Lacrosse team won the Gold Metal in a tournament we attended in Calgary which was sweetened by him scoring the winning goal from a great pass from team mate Ryan A! They played hard as a team and won as a team, no one person was responsible for the win, they did it together and came out on top! Hard work, great coaching, supportive parents and the stars were aligned just perfectly! It doesn’t get much better than that!

We were ranked 2nd in our division entering into the Provincials last week but this time we came out 4th in the Province. What made me most proud of our boys was that when they came out of the dressing room they still smiled. They had their moment of disappointment, they talked about the game in the dressing room, and then moved on. I’m sure each and every one of them, coaches included, played over and over in their minds what they as an individual could have done better, that’s expected with any loss. It doesn’t change the outcome but it’s a great way to process the experience in order to move forward. Someone had to lose and we showed good sportsmanship by being proud of what we achieved this season. We held our heads high and were proud to be in the Provincials of Canada’s National Sport, Lacrosse!

Thank you Rob Bosa for your generosity, Rob Martel for your passion, Terry Stead for conditioning the boys and Tom Johnson for giving back to the younger generation, you made a real impression on all the boys!

The friendships these boy’s have made through Lacrosse will follow them into adulthood and give them memories they will look back on often. And last but not least… “there’s always next year”, right Brock! lol 🙂 I already miss your emails Laurie! xo

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