Today I graduated from adult camp. Not kidding. After spending a week at a leadership camp retreat, I crossed over the rainbow bridge to adulthood, to leadership. And because you’re all my peeps, or you soon will be, I’m going to share some of this wisdom for free. Get ready, friends, I am going to save you thousands of dollars that you can spend on whatever makes your soul sing and heart beat faster.
- First day of adult camp is like the first day of school. Everybody is flashing their finest clothes and seeing where they are going to fall in the pecking order. Remember clothes are armor and in new and intimidating situations one must suit up. By the end of the week jeans prevailed. If I had stayed one more day I would’ve shown up in yoga pants. You have got to get down to the jeans and yoga pants level if you’re going to be real.
- Listening is important. Not kidding. I don’t listen the way I should, chances are that you don’t either. There is a significant difference between listening to get the gist of something and being really intentional about listening for understanding. A good listener is hearing what is being said and sensing what is unsaid. Being really listened to feels incredibly good. Try it.
- Invite new people to your lunch table. To your board room. To your classroom. To your life. I’m an abstract person. I see a haunted spooky forest where concrete thinkers see approximately 20 trees. You need both at your table.
- Trust people that know more than you. I found myself on the first day of camp looking around smirking as the seasoned instructors said that by the end of the week we would reflect on this time spent as one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. I was wrong. They were right.
- Adult camp food is WAYYYYY better than summer camp. Shrimp, scallops, steak, salmon? And you can drink legally, as opposed to sneaking in a stolen wine cooler from the garage fridge.
- I probably don’t speak the same language as you and certainly not the same language as my husband. He gets hopped up about a new calculation in a P & L. I look at him like a deer in the headlights. I tell him that the color of my daughter’s nursery doesn’t feel right and makes me so incredibly sad I want to cry. He looks at me like I have lost my mind. Find out what language you speak and those that you love. It will save time and hurt. We all have filters. I say green. You say grass. I say leprechaun. Make sure you’re on the same page or at least in the same damn book.
- Compliments, really thoughtful positive assessments, feel better than sex. Well, mostly. Take the time to write down five things you love and appreciate about someone. You’ll be amazed watching their entire face light up.
- Every community needs leaders. You are probably one already. Stop standing on the sidelines. Dig in. The world needs you. Your community needs you. Yes, you.
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