Follow the leader… an exploration into situational awareness, from a position of authority.

Over the past few years of personal growth, I’ve been highly intrigued by the concept of leadership. This possibly stems from my childhood, where I had a natural tendency to stand-out versus remain melded into the crowd. My childhood friends joke that I was always the president. I was always campaigning to lead, or entertaining them by some means. Sometimes people gravitate towards leadership naturally. I think some are absolutely born to lead. Others can be inspired by circumstance or need to rise to the occasion. The motivations behind leadership vary. It’s important to know what those motivations are, before you can decide what leadership style works for you and what you respect as a leadership style. There are several leadership styles, and interesting theories behind them. I’m going to touch on a few.

 

The Dictator

Leadership styles such as Autocratic focus purely on the task at hand. This style tends to have more of a “do as I say, and don’t question it.” To me, this style lacks opportunities for growth in any type of operation or goal. It completely negates the value of outside opinion, and fresh perspective. It can be effective, and sometimes necessary. In the case of an emergency, one might need to use this style in order to accomplish immediate tasks efficiently.

Just like…. do your thang.

A Laissez-faire leader allows employees, subordinates or “followers” to do as they see fit to accomplish tasks. There is a level of guidance that goes into this style, but it’s hands off approach can be effective in certain scenarios such as ; A creative endeavor within the artist community, etc. I tend to like this style, because it feels as the leader respects you enough, and views you as competent. As adults, we don’t necessarily want to feel micro-managed. So, there is obviously a level of trust in who you are leading to follow through on their own.

The Analyst

Situational Leadership is a style in which the leader adapts to the situation, using various leadership styles and leads accordingly. This means that this leader, is going to change up their leadership style to each situation, meeting and circumstance. This can be a very effective leadership strategy for some, however the ability to blend styles each time isn’t feasible for some people.

Now that we are familiar with some leadership styles, I’m going to insert my opinion in here even further, and present my own style of leadership, because thats what I do.

The Don’t Be An Asshole, Care About The Individual, Actually Take The Time To Get To Know Them On A Deeper Level, Pride Aside, Non-Assuming, Accepting We’re All Human, Let’s Make The World A Better Place By Lifting You Up Leadership Style.

This one is called Decent Human Leadership style. This style cares about other people genuinely. It’s takes the time to explore their talents, find out what makes them tick, what motivates them and how to use their abilities to further their growth and help others to accomplish the collective goal as a unit. It doesn’t fire women who get pregnant, under the guise of “it’s just not a good time for us right now.” It doesn’t shame them with, “You should have informed us ahead of time.” Which, if we didn’t have a culture of work till you die, because you need to be a perfect robot who must complete tasks accordingly and some leaders are too lazy to creatively use talents, and adjust things outside of the workplace for it to make sense for everyone… then of course you would be immediately informed. This style doesn’t believe in a “DRAMA FREE” workplace. It fully embraces the employee, situation, follower as a whole, and regular human who goes through human things. It doesn’t necessarily mean it encourages, “petty drama” as in: this person can’t work with this person because they annoy them. That’s just immaturity, and not what I mean by “Drama.” What I mean by perceived “drama”, is finding out an employee is trying to flee an abusive or non-ideal situation, and letting them go because they’ve cried in the back, or disclosed to co-workers that they are not doing to well right now. In fact, this leadership style encourages people to open up, and when they disclose that they are in dire need of a job, they keep them on and do the best they can to support them. Now, in the instance their job performance starts to suffer, they give something called a chance or two, it’s unheard of.. I know. This style also never, ever uses the word “Drama” to a distressed employee. In fact, it validates their emotions, situation and genuinely cares about the person, letting them know their job is safe. This leadership style, to me is ideal and courageous. It’s all about situational awareness. Is your employee, or subordinate on crack and lighting up in the bathroom? Yes. Probably point them in the direction of an addiction counselor and fire them. However, if they come back two years later, sober, life cleaned up and thanking you, then maybe re-consider them as a candidate! Is your employee, hurting because their cat died and you have absolutely no idea what that emotional connection was? Give them a break, and a chance. Does your employee have a history of being late? Yes. Maybe, find out WHY they are running late? Is it depression? No? Is it ADHD? No? Is it that their newborn child has them up for hours at night and it’s extremely hard to balance it all? Yes? Chance. Is it because they are unhappy there? Why? Is it the leadership style? Personal beef that needs to be sorted through? Then sort it. This style takes into account the value of everyone. It sees potential in everyone, especially the hard workers who come to work, while over coming adversity. It treasures those employees. No matter how new, or how much you think you know about them… This is a style that genuinely CARES.

 

Hopefully you all enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment and let me know your opinions. ūüôāFB_IMG_1488854519853

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Follow your Passions, trust yourself.

Distinction Magazine

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This is such a huge deal for me. These past two years I’ve been struggling to find myself. I realized two years ago that I had become a shell of my former self, and focused on everything and everyone else around me. I had no boundaries, low standards, low self esteem and suffered a major blow to my marriage when my husband and I separated. It felt like two years of fog, confusion, pain, depression, and feeling lost in life. When you get life advice from people who have been there, gone through hell and managed to climb out of the darkness, it’s inspiring. I can’t thank those people enough for giving me advice, telling me I would be okay. I’ll get there eventually and most importantly never give up on yourself. It’s okay to change. The course of your life most likely isn’t going to be linear and safe. Life happens. If you allow it to happen, I promise you will grow and find yourself in a better place eventually. Never lose faith in yourself, and strive to love you as you are. Forgive yourself, and others. It will lead you to better places.

With that said, I’m happy to announce that this months issue of Distinction Magazine has featured, the hard work of the amazing community I’m involved in. Distinction Magazine itself, is such a community driven, awe inspiring, entertaining/beautiful content driven publication and the team behind it does an amazing job. *For the full article please subscribe or purchase a copy of this wonderful magazine.

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The company I work for,(a.k.a. have adopted as my baby) Origin Wine Social located in The Freemason/Downtown area of Norfolk, VA is a new small business that’s knocking out it of the park. It’s a small locally owned Wine shop, Which is run and owned by a level 2 Sommelier Matthew Emorski, Your’s truly Director/Manager of most things, Brianna Farias and our amazing Event facilitator/Assistant Manager Derek Koel. Together as team Origin, we have accomplished so much more than we envisioned when we started. We run the Wine Club at the ICON apartments in Downtown, Our own wine club in house, we have branched out to private events (In store and out), we teach wine classes, have movie nights, and are featured in several local publications. Not only do I love working there, I love the community support we get as well. We also love to support our community, and love visiting, promoting and helping other small business strive. The best part of it all, is that each and everyone one of us involved in Origin are passionate about wine, and are a tight knit family.

This Specific Event was part of Distinction Magazine’s Secret Supper Series. *Contact Distinction for more info on how to about entry into one of these awesome events.

The cuisine was absolutely a heavenly experience. Spruce Home + Design owned by the lovely Allison Whitmore hosted the guests for Hors d’ouvres and wine paired by Matt. Their gorgeous space was a perfect start to the night.

Chef Ross Riddle has worked in some of the best surrounding area restaurants with experience in various styles of cuisine. He launched his own food truck called Hashi Chow. Hashi has now evolved into a ridiculously cool pop-up, Private event and Private Chef by request. Definitely check him out on Facebook.com/Hashichow or his IG @hashichow to see the beautiful work he has done. However, as any good event has the support team was stellar and crucial to pulling this event off. Another ridiculously awesome chef Ian Hock, who runs his own pop-up style restaurant Codex @codex_va out of Pendulum Fine Meats @pendulumfinemeats, busted out these amazing dishes along side Ross. Rowena’s Kitchen @ Rowenaskitchen offered their space to help make this event come to fruition, and Chef Ross implemented their famous pound cake into the dessert course. I wish I could tell you more, but you’re just gonna have to buy the magazine to get all the juicy details. ūüôā

Moral of the Story: Follow your passion and see where it takes you.

I’m Back!

Okay.. So it’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything. Life is freaking crazy you all. One minute you’re on a path, knowing exactly the direction you want to go in and then, it just throws you off the back of a pick up truck. Seriously. When you aren’t going on a course that the Universe/God/Destiny or whatever you call it. It brings circumstances to force change. I was so set on law school. So focused. Yet here I am. I haven’t graduated yet. My life, is totally crazy. I’m in the middle of growth and some days I stress cry in the bathroom. While other days, I meet amazing people, and have the time of my life! My mantra lately, has seriously been YOLO. As “Millenial” as it may sound, I’ve found a rich, deep sense of spirituality in the meaning. You only live once. That’s it. You can plan out the perfect life, with the utmost attention to detail and it will straight up be like… NOPE. So, do what makes you happy. For me, that’s wine and food. I had zero street cred, or references in the food and wine scene six months ago. Now, I’m the Director of private events, and manager of a wine shop in Downtown/Freemason area of Norfolk, Virginia. I still wake up sometimes like… What?! How did I get here?! It’s so surreal. My job has introduced me to amazing chefs, photographers, magazine editors, movie producers, sommeliers, wine makers, engineers, politicians, musicians, actors, etc… It’s absolutely insane. It has changed so incredibly fast, that I think I’m just gonna go with this YOLO for a minute and see where I end up. To end this, I’ll say this, My job……………IMG_20180519_185432_481.jpgIMG_20180505_182723_923.jpgIMG_20180523_083638_902.jpg20180606_194757.jpgIMG_20180601_163532_756.jpg20180616_185003.jpgIMG_20180620_114832_069.jpg20180603_193743.jpg¬†…….is to throw parties, drink wine and hang out with really cool people. So, if you’re currently stuck doing something you aren’t particularly happy about… let the YOLO take over and enjoy your life!

Let’s talk about plants baby, let’s talk plants and things, let’s talk about plants… Let’s talk about plants.

20170609_144431Alright, so summer has arrived in Virginia and boy oh boy are the plants in bloom! The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to go here. I know, I know.. Plants? Boring!!! I’d have to object. The grounds of this place are amazing. There is simply no other word that I feel like writing down to describe it. The gardens are a non-profit museum for plants. However, this place is so much more. Its an amazing date location, a peaceful place to collect your thoughts, and in their children’s garden a blast for kids! Seriously, the kids zone will be enough to buy a membership… ehem, parents. ¬†Weddings are conducted here, because it has some of the most romantic locations I’ve ever seen. That’s saying a lot. I grew up in Southern California. We had every landscape available to us in that state. They recently added a carnivorous plants exhibit, which is awesome! It’s very tiny, but how often do you see exotic carnivorous plants? I’ll post some photos below to give you an idea of the wonders of this garden. This is .0001% of what you will experience. If you are ever in Norfolk, Va give this place a try. It’s wonderful!

http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org

Truth, Justice and The Pink Flamingo Mom way.

This year I’ve met so many incredible people and I had the opportunity to do some incredible things. I started this website as a way to find myself again, and it’s becoming so much more than I could’ve imagined. I found something rewarding in addition to promoting my life. I found a way to give back. Through my journey into “adulthood” (I turn 30 this month, which I consider to be quite an adult number. I’m sure when I’m 60 I laugh at my young self. Then laugh at my 60 year old self when I’m 80.), I realized there is so much joy in promoting other people and their businesses as well, that why haven’t I been doing this the whole time? What the heck old me?! What were you doing for 1/3 of your life? I don’t get paid for it… yet. I just use my skills in writing to highlight how awesome people and places can be. I also use them to highlight issues and create topics of discussion. Ever since I adopted this positive attitude, I’ve been experiencing more success in life than ever. I recently got accepted into a program for academic success in applying to law school. I’ll be heading to a college of law founded by two women, in July. ¬†I’ll get to participate in this exciting opportunity, and it was something I think I’ve been wanting for a while. It’s an opportunity to give back, through knowledge and empowerment. Plus, It will be an Awesome weekend in our Nations Capital!!!

Sometimes life can take you in unexpected directions. Some good, and some bad. The ability to bounce back or resiliency is a strong predictor of what determines your success in life. Then aga You could also just live a “perfect” life from birth to death. That could happen… I guess. ¬†If thats the case with you, I’d seriously question whether or not you were a robot, put on this earth to make people feel incredibly inadequate about themselves. I firmly believe no one is perfect.

I’ve come to realize that you may perceive an event that has happened as wholly bad. That can happen. What I’ve learned is that it may suck at the time, but given the right attitude anything is possible. I mean that literally. You might just need to find out what your definition of success is and jump on in. Some wonderful lessons I’ve learned along the way are……..

#1.) Never let fear deter you from doing something that could be amazing.

#2.) Don’t take no for an answer. If you want it, go get ’em tiger. The worst thing someone will say is.. “Please stop contacting me.” At that point, you could get sued for harassment. So….. probably take that lesson to heart.

#3.) Always, push yourself beyond what you think could be possible. Hater’s are hater’s for whatever reason. You know who you are, if they don’t see the value you have to bring to the table then it sucks for them. Let me tell you, that YOU,(¬†person reading this right now), are capable, connected and your potential is off the charts!

#4.) Aim high, and fall from there. For me, my goal is to be the president someday. If I don’t achieve that, then I’m sure I’ll end up somewhere pretty successful with a big dream like that. Call me naive, and I’ll slap a story down that you probably weren’t expecting.

#5.) Have a back up plan and if you don’t, you’ll be okay too and you’ll figure it out.

#6.) Don’t settle for rational, unless you want to. Life’s not rational or predictable, so go for it!

#7.) Live your life the way you want to.

#8.) When opportunity appears, seize it.

#9.) Try to lift others up in the process and make amends when you can, if needed. Don’t leave any bad blood.

#10.) Try to let things go. You may not always be capable or able to, but a willingness to try, will make all the difference.

And finally lets leave it off with an even number…

#11.) Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing, or people you’re just curious about. Contact them, ask them questions, get to know them, and even see if they’ll meet with you. The world is full of possibility and I think a good way to live a full and rich life of success, is to explore that possibility!!

So, the moral of this story is… what are YOU¬†waiting for? Go kick some butt!

 

Dirty Dancing at Lake Lure

“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†The Rumbling Bald Resort¬†in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is an incredible place. The resort overlooks Lake Lure, (A popular vacation spot in the summer), and sits neatly tucked between the hazards of their well kept golf course. The white sand beaches and children’s water park make this an excellent option for all ages. They host a Dirty Dancing festival here to celebrate the fun the movie brings in mere mention. It’s probably useful information to note, that the original movie was filmed here as well. They offer a tour to the guest of the grounds before the festival starts, fun film themed food fare and the after party is quite the scene! Be prepared to dress up in flowing dresses and be dazzled by the spectacular show they put on. It’s needless to say, but….

I had the time of my life.

It was so lovely catching up with one of my childhood best friends from Southern California! Love my Brandi-kins!

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The views home were outstanding and so lush! FB_IMG_1488854746731

There were so many cool places that we passed by.FB_IMG_1488854770752 Too bad we couldn’t stop at them all!

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Th honor system applied at this cute little pit stop.

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Travel tips for the festival:

1.) Get there early if you don’t want to miss out on the fun of the tour.

2.) If the food options aren’t to your liking at the festival, they do have a quaint little restaurant located on the main property to grab a quick bite.

3.) Be sure to save time for a fun dip in the lake and soaking up the suns rays, with a cool drink in tow!

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4.) Watch out for Bears!!!

5.) Make sure to have the time of your life!!

https://www.rumblingbald.com/discover-rumbling-bald

The Pink Flamingo

The rebranding of myself started at my lowest point. So here’s the story behind that.

The iconic pink flamingo lawn ornament that decorated the lawns of the 1990’s was seen as tacky and unappealing to some. I think they’re beautiful. I was “just a mom” for quite sometime, at least that’s what I thought. I felt tacky and unappealing. So I can totally relate to those flamingos. ¬†I think I’m beautiful now. I’m stronger than ever. I believe I can accomplish the path that is set out by my vision. I am woman. Hear me roar!

The Pink Flamingo Mom: ¬†A rebranding project of taking charge of your life and seeing all of the possibilities you have, just by recognizing the skills you already posses. Once you hone in on that power, you become unstoppable. “Get it Girl!”

Within this past year I started to¬†noticed pink flamingos, almost everywhere. They’ve been rebranded as a cute and stylish design on everything from leggings to pillow cases. Whoever brought them back, thank you. They changed my life. When I’m stuck in a rut, for whatever reason, I follow the pink flamingos. Seriously, I find them in random places that my life has taken me. It’s very mystical. I take it as a sign that I’m going in the right direction. It’s also odd to note that they seem like they are everywhere, not just clothing. I took my children to the dentist office one day and looked up. Low and behold in brilliant 90’s neon colors was a pink flamingo with killer shades on. It was just hanging out, on a beach, on the ceiling of the dentist’s exam room. Totally random. That’s when the idea for this whole project kinda fell into place and I knew, that I KNEW¬†what I was doing. A special friend of mine set this entire movement into place with her positive motivation. She is an amazing coach in life and fitness. Without her, I never would have started to discover my vision for the future. Thank You Danielle Griffin!

Check out Danielle’s extremely inspirational ability to change lives through lifestyle and fitness. Her positive approach to motivation helped me through my toughest time. Do good without expectation of reward and it will come back to you in ten fold. In other words, be kind for no reason. You never know whose life your about to change. Paying it forward!

If you’d like a to transform your life through Danielle’s positive approach to your fitness and wellness journey click below. Schedule a consult and choose to live the happy life.

our story

www.Mamafitforlife.com

Pick a place.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have unlimited resources, no responsibilities, and just pick up and go? I think it’s safe to say, that most people have. As an overloaded over-achieving American mother, I drift off to this fantastic mental oasis of mine and dream of the day I’ll be free to do whatever, whenever. This dream became somewhat of a reality, when the husband and I just decided to do it. We don’t have unlimited resources, we have tons of responsibilities, but we just did it. It wasn’t without the help of our family. Without these amazing people our break from “adulthood” couldn’t have happened. Our week started off with a surprise from the In-laws. While most people cringe at a thought of their mother in law paying a surprise visit, I really enjoy her company. ( Hi Mom! ūüôā ) ¬†I hit the jackpot with my In-laws. They flew across the country, took excellent care of our babies and kept the house extremely clean! The stress of school, the impending absence of my significant other (travel for work) and juggling three individual tiny little lives with separate schedules, had me loosing hair at an amazing rate. Even writing that sentence now, makes my head spin. We all could use a break from our routine. I think it really helps me appreciate all of the pleasures life has to offer.

These are some photos of the beginning of our trip. We left late Thursday night in pursuit of adventure. Our passports were up to date and ready to go. Our bags were packed and we hurried out to the car as fast as we could. This was a much needed vacation. It was such an amazing feeling to get in the car ALONE, without our children and say, “Where do you want to go?” We decided to head to the Nations Capital, as international travel was on our minds. We arrived at about 9¬†pm to the Cambria Hotel, in DC. We hit a snag with our reservation, but the staff was extremely accommodating and we managed to snag the last room!! We decided to wing it for breakfast the next day and found this amazing Ethiopian restaurant. The food was exotic and pleasantly¬†unexpected. If you never tried Ethiopian food, you might want to. I find that venturing out of my comfort zone, usually brings good things in the form of exciting new experiences!

Check out this amazing restaurant at the link below!

http://www.chercherrestaurant.com

 

 

Study Abroad? Absolutely!

I went to my schools¬†library today to clear my head. I’ve accomplished quite a bit in that library, and whenever I need to reflect back on my accomplishments I go there. As I was meandering down the hallways, taking in the fun and exciting career opportunities for new college students, I ran into a study abroad program flyer. I’ve always wanted to study abroad. I’ve also always wanted to travel. Cosmic coincidence? I think so. My life seems to head in that direction lately these days, and honestly going with the flow of the universe hasn’t failed me yet. My life is just better this way! My motto has always been, “When you’re stuck, try something new!” What kind of life would anyone want to live without at the very least, trying. Time to update my passport!

The Story

I am one for a good story. In fact, from my perspective there’s a story in everything. Everyone, every place, and every adventure brings a new story that I get¬†to tell. Not only do I find pleasure in sharing my stories, but I also get to hear ones too! How awesome is that?! They ALL have value to me and I treasure each one of them like they should be. Life is about experiences. I choose to live my life according to this belief and so far, it’s been one hell of a story! Sometimes, I feel as though I’ve stumbled onto a secret that I can’t help but spill. It’s as if, I’ve fallen into a vat of radioactive material and developed a super power to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary! Some would call it a gift, a choice, a perspective or¬†a belief. It’s all! ¬†It’s life and it’s whatever ¬†I want it to be! I believe in sharing my unique take on life because,¬†I feel¬†happy when I do. Happiness is something that I feel shouldn’t be kept hidden. I feel like it should be shared and celebrated! We’re here, we’re all living together and… it’s AMAZING!!!!!! No matter where you are, where you come from, how you got to where you are today, your story is amazing and I want to hear it! Why? Because why not?! Life is an experience that we all share. I say, lets all share this experience together and make something extraordinary!!!!