Cairn Leadership Strategies
What advice would you give someone starting their career and wanting to move into leadership?
Leadership is a journey, so approach it as an adventure. You'll never have all the answers, but if you put your people first and work hard to learn along the way you'll find a lot of purpose in it.
How has your leadership style changed in the last 2 years due to the pandemic?
Something the pandemic helped me bring to the forefront is patience. In the military, I had a strong drive to accomplish the mission. Through the pandemic, it became more clear that the mission is the people. When dealing with people a little patience goes a long way!
In the last 5-10 years more women have moved into leadership. How has your industry changed to support women in leadership?
The outdoor guiding industry is finally recognizing that women generally bring unique leadership strengths to the table in terms of creating teams outdoors and working smarter not harder (among other things). There are far more women guiding outdoors now and the outdoor recreation industry is better for it.
What are your biggest challenges moving forward?
Our biggest challenge is educating people about how the outdoors can move them forward professionally. Science shows time outside makes us happier, healthier, and more creative. We see experiential leadership development as the new way to build organizational leadership.
What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Ask more questions. I always felt like people would not respect me if I had questions. Now I realize I would have learned faster and been more 'respectable' if I had been more curious at a younger age.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I'm most proud of taking the plunge into starting a business. It's a wild roller coaster, but I have met the most amazing people, been consistently out of my comfort zone, learned every day, and had a lot of fun. It's about as close to climbing mountains as I could get for a second career.
What is one thing you would do differently in your career?
I would have asked people for more mentorship early and often. In the military, I feared getting yelled at more than I valued learning from my mistakes, so I avoided spending time with my bosses. In retrospect, that held me back a lot.
What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself?
Climb rocks! Go for hikes with my daughter. Ski with my wife. Go mountain biking.