What does it mean to be a great leader?
The word leader is kind of funny because it can have many meanings. What I like to do is inspire people to want to do more and to do their best.
I would say that is a form of leadership - I get such a kick out of helping people learn to do new things.
I built a reputation for teaching beginners to ride horses. Many people don’t like to work with beginners, but I really enjoy it. Watching them learn to do a jump for the first time is exhilarating for me.
Do you feel you're a leader? Why or why not?
I’d prefer to be a little more humble. Have you seen the movie Pollyanna? She always tried to see the positive in everything. I’m a lot like that. I always felt that I have something special to offer the world. I think that makes me a leader.
I also enjoy teaching and training. That has always been my passion.
Tell a story of a time you took the lead -- what was your motivation?
I was working for major corporation and the woman who hired me was an inspiration to me any many ways, but one day she left the business to a young man who made lots of changes. I didn’t care for him at all.
One of the franchisees wanted to hire me to work directly for them rather than corporate, so I had decided it was time to leave.
My boss wanted to go to the stores I managed to see how I work. I took him to my stores and showed him around knowing that I was planning to quit. I just went through the process and was just being myself, introducing him to employees and doing what I normally do.
When the day was over he offered me a job as a lead trainer. That was a huge job, so I asked for time to think on it before committing. I was really afraid of the opportunity. I went home and talked to my family about it and the next day I called him up and told him I’d accepted the position.
Overnight it was as if the fear went away. I was training 60-70 people in a room at a time and it was great. I loved it. Since then, it’s hard for me to be afraid of anything. It showed me that I could do anything.
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