Surprising right? It all started with a land grant from the Canadian government, which I always thought was kind of cool until the last few years with reconciliation, but I’m super proud to be from Saskatchewan and super proud to be a farm kid. When I think back to the risk we took as kids with snowmobiles and quads and pellet guns, it was a stupid amount of risk taken as a child, and really awesome. It would be unacceptable today, but it was awesome back then. It was just go for it- and we’re still alive. I’m sure statistically there was a price paid by our generation for that.
I can think of a number of mistakes made where I was probably a little bit insensitive, or made an assumption that, you know, caused damage. The safest thing you can do in any given situation is probably ask a question about something that you’re curious about rather than leading with an opinion or a conviction or a position.
That was my daydream- being with people when they were at their most human, feeling very vulnerable and somehow being a source of something for them in those moments that would be a really positive influence, good news or bad news, and helping them figure out the way forward. I really wiped out, I mean it was not pretty. I was really heartbroken. I wish so much that there was an adult in the equation who found me fascinating enough to go for a coffee and help me distill down what all of my dreams had in common. It would have been invaluable to me, and it would have saved me years of heartache, to have an adult help me pivot and take stock of this gift that has shown itself all the way since I was little.
There will be people that step into your life and, all of a sudden, you are capable of like a thousand times more because of their belief in you and the time they invest in you and whatever they see in you. They were choice people and that was my entry into this field of executive leadership development.
It’s about making them the focus of my full attention, being fascinated with their experience, where they are at, the options that they have, and knowing that somehow, the way that I conduct myself could change what’s possible inside this person. I mean that’s not magic, but it is the closest thing to real magic that human beings get.