Monday, August 30, 2010

Could business and leadership be just like parenting ?

Strange title maybe but there are definitely some things in common between the two.
I hope to some day be considered a leader and I know that at that point I will have to be more or less like a parent to my team. No I don't mean nagging and pleading like a mom, even though I am sure there will be days where it will feel that way. No what I mean is learning to let go.
In fact you always hear that you have to give your children wings and teach them how to fly and then learn to let them go. Of course, this is what a leader has to do too.
The sad thing about this is that when your team members try to fly away, you want them to succeed but you know you will be missing them like crazy. It's the dilemma of being happy for their success but selfishly wishing they could stay put a little longer.
In some cases, the business world makes you feel that way about the ones who are in charge too. They were your teachers and they took you under their wings and helped you grow. They may have been the ones fighting for you or defending you when things were rough. They may have been the ones who disciplined you or chided you when it was needed. But overall they were the one who made a difference in your job, made it easier or better or more fulfilling.
I have had to say goodbye to someone who worked with me before because he was moving on to more satisfying pursuits. And I was thrilled for him. But he stayed close.
Now I have to say goodbye to someone who meant a lot in the last few months for being there and helping me grow. And I am thrilled that he is getting to grow and I am excited that someday he will be a big kahuna, the one in charge. But dang it, I selfishly am hating that he will no longer be in my store. I know we will run across each other at times, this is after all a small business world. And yes his leaving gives me an opportunity to go after his job...yep that's the bright side because sadly I always feel I have to try and find one. It sure doesn't mean I will get his job but I will try to.
Maybe in the next few weeks there will be someone else to guide me. And maybe not. For now, I only know that I am going into the unknown and that is scary.
So I can only hope I can learn to let go of the ones who matter and learn from them so some day I can be in a position to give others wings and teach them how to fly until they leave me. And maybe some day I will be more happy than sad when that happens.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

you walked into my life...on all fours.

6 years ago tomorrow, I was granted a greyt gift. No I didn't misspell. I really mean a GREYT gift. Most of my friends will know what I am talking about.
For those who don't, here is an explanation.
Six years ago I was in a depression cause by my mother's passing the year before. I was trying to keep it all together, you know - family, marriage... At that point I had quit my job because I no longer enjoyed it and there is not much worse than getting up in the morning and wishing you didn't have to go to work. I truly believe that you should quit or switch jobs when you get to that point because you are doing no one a favor by showing up for work without the passion necessary to do your job well.
So after I decided to stay home, I thought I might finally do something I had always wanted to do but never had been able to: get a dog. Mind you it wouldn't be just any dog. No for 6 years I had been wanting a greyhound. I had been waiting for the right time, for my kids to be old enough, for my life to allow it. And now that I would be home, I could feel good that I wouldn't have to leave the poor dog alone for 10 hours a day.
In comes this big goofy dark brindle boy. He was chosen for us and so very well I can say.
I will never be able to explain how much the retired racer formerly known as Onyx Star has changed my life.
I can no longer go on vacation anywhere anytime. I can only be gone for so many hours before I worry about having to let him out. I somewhat worry about when the next seizure will happen and I have spent many nights up with him because of seizures. I have to pay some pretty hefty vet bills that always happen at the most inconvenient times. I have had to invest in a carpet cleaning machine for these very occasional problems he has had. Poor pup takes medications that sometimes irritate his stomach. I have to let him out when I get home from work even if he has already been out with the kids just because I am home and he feels I owe him that even if I only want to get off my feet after an 8 hour shift walking around the store.
That's the bad stuff...
If I had to write the list of good stuff, I would be here for days typing.
Most of all, I love the love he gives me. I love that I am the only one he seems thrilled to see every day. I love that he is becoming cuddlier as he gets older. I love that he has to sleep in the room where I am. I love that he looks for me to help him through a seizure and he needs me to pet him and calm him down. I love that he pouts when I have left him with someone else for a few days because that means he cares. I love that all I have to do to feel better is hug him and ask for some kisses.
The last 6 years have been such a blessing for all he brought to me: this incredible love, the sense of belonging to a community - the crazy and so caring Greyhound world.
So to my wonderful Onyx, happy Gotcha Day. Thank you for rescuing me six years ago when all my loved ones couldn't no matter how hard they tried.
I dread the day I lose you but I cannot focus on that. I choose to live in the moment and enjoy every minute of our life together.

And now I am off to give my big goofy dog a greYt big hug.