Directions are Key

Directions are Key

Being a leader can be difficult if you don’t have a clear direction. What are your goals? How do you want to be viewed? There are three key pillars that I think are important to establish right off the bat.

Lead from Behind.

If you look at some of the very best leaders in the industry, the most respected leaders – they are often the ones that understand that you need to “lead from behind”. Full disclosure, I did not come up with the term “leading from behind”. I’ve heard quite a few folks use the term in a variety of ways.

Here is what I mean when I say leading from behind… it’s important to show that you are there for your employees and not the other way around. Without them, your business you wouldn’t be able to run your business. Without you, they wouldn’t have a good leader. Make sure that you are one with the team. Stand in line with them (and not always at the front), stay in the same style hotel room, park in the same parking lot.

I completely understand that you have worked hard to get where you are and there are certain things that you are entitled to because you are successful but don’t forget that at the end of the day you are just as human as every one of your employees. Additionally, there are a lot of employees that are also working really hard (in some cases just as hard as you) to gain the success that you have. Showing them that no matter how successful you become being a good person is so crucial to how you are perceived as a leader. For your employees to respect and trust you they must feel like you are on their level and not some kind of demi-god.

Manage Down.

We’ve all heard the term “managing up” and while it’s important to make your boss’s life easier (I have a whole bunch of content dedicated to that) it’s also important to make those who work under you feel at ease in their roles. It’s important to outline roles and responsibilities and be very clear upfront.

Don’t focus so much on making your manager’s life easy that you forget to be a good leader. The first time that I led a team, my goal was to teach and mentor each of my teammates in a way that they would become smarter and better at the job than I was. Think about that. If every person taught the person that would then fill their role to do the job better than they could – how amazingly successful, what amazing growth we would see. Your job as a manager isn’t just to guide – it’s to foster growth (and lots of it).

If every time you had spare time you jumped into the foxhole and helped out one of your teammates, think about how much would get done. Instead of everyone panicking about workload, you could have a short happy hour at the end of the week to celebrate your success.

Collaborate Across 

If your in an industry that has multiple job functions, try to learn as much as you can about all of them. Become the auxiliary contact. Make sure all the teams are talking, saying the same thing, and moving in the same direction. Being a leader with a cross-functional background makes it so much easier for you to talk the same language as other teams you are working with and collaborate with. The most successful projects that I have ever worked on are the ones where everyone is collaborating and it’s not a painful process. One team. One Dream.

Being a leader can be hard but if you remember these three key pillars you are off to a good start.

Top Ten Easy Ways to Use Pre-Cooked Ground Beef

If your anything like me, simple recipes that you can prep ahead of time are your favorite kind.

I’ve linked out to a collection of my top ten favorite recipes that use ground beef. A few are self explanatory. These are great because you can buy a bulk portion of ground beef then brown it all at once, portion it out and freeze it until you are ready to use it for each recipe. In my mind that saves me from washing nine pans so it’s a win right off the bat!

Spaghetti Sauce with Meat (Prego and the thick noodles please!)

Sloppy Joes

Beef and Noodles (we like egg noodles)

Korean Beef

Cheeseburger Skillet

Stuffed Shells

Tater Tot Casserole

Tacos (I stock up on the crunchy and soft combo kit with seasoning included)

Stroganoff

Beef and Ramen

Ice Cream Party

Tonight I want to talk about ice cream. Creamy. Cold. Delicious.

For adults, ice cream is a nostalgic treat. For kids, ice cream is life. One of my favorite activities to do with my son is make ice cream sundaes!!! I like to use it as a fun end of week reward for good behavior. It gives us something to look forward too!

Each time we go grocery shopping we add one or two new items to our ice cream topping collection!

Here are some of the best items to stock up on for impromptu Sundae parties!

  • Ice cream, I recommend the giant tub with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. It ensures your always prepared.
  • Cones. Sugar and cake.
  • Sprinkles. All the shapes and colors!
  • Hot fudge
  • Caramel
  • Crushed Nuts
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Whip cream
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Fresh fruit (mainly bananas)
  • Crushed Oreos
  • Edible Cookie Dough

What are your favorite ice cream topping?

Why It’s Important to Remember that Everyone is Human

Why It’s Important to Remember that Everyone is Human

You do realize that you are human and that you will make mistakes? Right? I’ve got a little secret, so is everyone else. Everyone you live with, work with, interact with.

There are a lot of people that might act like they have it all together but I can promise you that they don’t. They might have experienced major trauma in their past, they might be dealing with mental health issues, they might be fighting with their family, they might just not like the outfit they put on today, they might not be feeling well, they might be resentful because of experience earlier in their day, they might be trying to live up to unrealistic standards others set for them. Some people deal with their issues by being mean, sad, upset and others try to mask the feelings by being over the top peppy. Either way, everyone is dealing with something.

There are a select few people out in the world that come pretty close to “perfect” but they go out of their way to work on improving areas that they identify as pitfalls (seeing a therapist, regular medical check-ups, getting a good stylist, etc.). They also acknowledge that they will never be “perfect” and are okay with that.

It’s important to remember that you need to be easy on yourself and everyone else in your life. It doesn’t matter if you cross paths for five seconds or fifty years – in person or online.

Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, understand that everyone is going through something (including yourself). It might feel like some people have trivial issues but those trivial issues might stem from something deeper that you know nothing about.

There will be days when things go perfectly smooth and there will be days when the shit absolutely hits the fan. Treat both good and bad situations like learning opportunities. Instead of being judgemental, be understanding.

I am a perfectionist and I still make mistakes. I work really hard to be one of the most detail-oriented and buttoned-up people you will meet. It happens.

For a very long time, I didn’t let people in on the icky stuff in my life. I still struggle with it. I have a very hard time talking to anyone about anything “hard” and when I do, I turn it into a joke because I don’t like the way the hard stuff makes me feel. I didn’t talk about what made me uncomfortable or upset. I let that shit sink real deep down. Real deeeeep down. 

Then one day I realized that EVERYONE has stuff. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to get upset, angry, jealous, mad, happy. You are allowed to feel it all. EVERYONE IS ALLOWED TO FEEL THE WAY THEY WANT BECAUSE EVERYONE IS HUMAN. Your mom, your teacher, your kids, your boss, your coworker, the cashier, athletes, politicians…everyone.

Everyone should be granted the opportunity to live and work in a place that understands that we are all humans and that we must make mistakes to grow.

If I teach you anything, my hope is that you learn to be a little softer with others. Give a little more grace. Lend a listening ear. Be a friend.

Allow others to be human and give yourself the same opportunity.

Don’t be so hard on yourself or others.

Love Always,

Mandy

Instapot Potato Skins

Instapot Potato Skins

Yuuuuuuuummmm. Yum. Yum. Yummy. Yum.

These potatoes are a quarantine dream. Easy to make. Ready in under 30 minutes. Packed with Chedda and Bacon.

Step 1: Wash potatoes because… dirt.

Step 2: Add 1/2 cup water to instapot and pop in 3-4 potatoes. Cook on pressure cook setting on high. valve sealed for 25 minutes.

Step 3: Release pressure. Let taters cool for a few minutes then take them out and cut em’ in half.

Step 4: Scoop out the middle guts. I saved the guts for mashed potatoes for dinner because I’m thrifty like that.

Step 5: Fill with all the cheese and bacon your heart desires. I prefer a mild cheddar.

Step 6: Pop them into the over on 400 or broil if you can for 3-5 minutes or until crspyish.

Enjoy!!!!

My potato masterpiece!!