Week 6 (Somewhere in the mountains)

One of the reasons that I was brought here was to change the culture. I absolutely love leadership and developing employees/teams. I enjoy investing in each person and motivating them to reach their full potential. Learning each individual on a team is imperative to building a strong movement and to fulfill the mission at hand. It is essential to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can weave them all together. I am a “people person” so this part actually brings me an incredible amount of joy. But sometimes, as a leader, you have to invite someone to leave your office or even the property. That happened this week. Blatant disrespect that doesn’t respond to redirection can not be tolerated.

What it all comes down to: You can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. We each have the power to choose every day. I reflect on the situation and wonder if there were any other leadership tools that could have been utilized. I strongly believe that saving and developing an employee trumps turn-over and attrition rate on any day. However, as a leader, it is also important to recognize when someone belongs somewhere else. It may even be a favor to them, maybe they just hadn’t recognized that it was time to move on. Believe it or not, I have terminated employees in the past that actually thanked me, and we have continued on as friends/acquaintances. They recognize that what took place was necessary and not personal. They also recognize that I will continue to support them and “cheer them on” in their future endeavors. The situation this week ended differently. After having time to think, the employee came back humble and refocused, ready to join our mission and be a part of the change that is taking place. With support and encouragement, I believe they will be an incredible asset to the team and I am excited to see what they are capable of.

I have spoken about the things that I left behind, but I really haven’t mentioned what I brought with me. I was very practical about my choices. I have a limited amount of space, so that played into my decisions. I was also afraid of what I might lose on my journey, so I was selective based on that as well. Two of the most precious items that I brought with me are on my being at all times. I am wearing the tiny diamond stud earrings that my Paw Paw gave me for high school graduation. These are special and practical at the same time. I don’t have to worry about changing jewelry on a daily basis nor storing the items in a camper that is most likely not moisture proof. I am also wearing my grandmothers ring. I am a firm believer that the safest place for jewelry is wearing it. I could not bear the thought of returning home at some point and not being able to locate it. I also brought a special mug with me. It was given to me by my nieces. It has a picture of a horse that says “other aunts” and a picture of a unicorn on a stripper pole that says “you”. I drink my coffee out of it every morning. These were some of the things that I brought with me (not left behind).

My husband is making the long journey here to visit this week. I am so excited to see him and Pearl. I absolutely can not wait to see Wookie’s reaction to Pearl and vice versa. I am so sad that the two of them do not understand what is happening and have most likely grieved each other for dead. I hope seeing each other will renew their hope between visits until they can be together all the time again. Wookie has met some friends at the dog park that play, but not quite like he and Pearl do. He understands English and listens to everything that I say so I haven’t told him that she is coming yet. I will save that for the day that they arrive. I have told him that there is a surprise coming and we have been “counting sleeps” in anticipation.

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