The sea otter in my face.

Woke up at 9am, got ready, feed the dogs, walked the dogs, and finally gave them a fresh amount of water in their water dish before heading out the door to Monterey Ca.

I drove alone, not to be a dick to my team but I just wanted to think about whats going on in my head lately. Who would have thought what was about to happen was going to teach me a thing or two about leading.

Upon arriving to Monterey, the temperature was around the low 60’s maybe the high 50’s and the water was much colder than that and the grey clouds over head were not very welcoming. We suited up, wet suit (check), some jacket over my wet suite (check), life vest (check), no shoes or socks (check), my buddy (check), and finally the kayak.

After a good 15 minutes going over the basics (if i really needed it…i play the Wii! 🙂 ) we dove into the water with the Kayaks. It was then that i realized that everyone has a way of being lead. You see i was raised in being told what I have done wrong all my life, with no real reinforcement of how right i was doing something. The goal in this small kayak was to get my buddy to row in sync with me and optimize the performance of our rowing.

Me (sitting in the back): “Follow me, I will yell right, left, right. And you paddle that way ok?”
Her: “Got it!”
Me: “Ok lets do right…*my buddy paddles right, left, right, left…really fast”
Me: “huh, right..right, first.”
Her: “Ok. *my buddy paddles right, left, right, … really fast again”

I sit there and wonder how I can be the figurative drum. So I sit back and realize I have to mold my leadership to her needs. So.

Me: “Thats great! You row fast. Ok lets see if we can row slower. Your too fast for me :-)”
Her: “Oh ok…tell me when”
Me: “Ok lets do left this time…Left!, Right!, Big Left! (we were drifting to the left a lot)”

And TADA! we were in sync.

Leading isnt about just leading. Its about getting everyone in the figurative kayak to row at the same time. Once you row at the same time your goal is to have everyone maximize the rowing by rowing with proper figure. Once you have that you teach the why’s of it all.

Today I realized Im ready for the next level.

Armando Padilla

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