Putting on your big girl pants and crawling out of the black hole

Crawling out of the Earthship Septic Hole, image by Monica Holy

As my regular readers will have noticed I have been furiously blogging for the last three months and that is because I have been struggling to hold it together and doing everything in my power to pull myself out of this emotional rut I have found myself in and I find blogging is cathartic.

Cows in Front of House Fav .jpg

When you find sitting on the veranda and watching the girls and thinking how lucky I am to live in paradise just isn’t enough to help you put your public brave face on  

I was starting to dread the phone calls that just seem to relentlessly deliver bad news that lead me to think I am losing control of my life. It was starting to get a bit serious and I was starting to feel like a victim  and I don’t do victim. It got to the point where I recognised I needed professional help. Good professional help I discovered can require making an appointment 6 weeks in advance so I have been surrounding myself with people who inspire me. When I woke up this morning to this blog post from one of those people the truly incredible Megan Rowlatt  I thought I too would use today’s blog to pay tribute the women in my life who inspire me.

But the first person I want to thank is my current mentor who just happens to be a man. Thank you Mike you have kept me on track reminding me that self sabotage is not good for the soul. A special thank to Greg who is the most divine sounding board for my next big idea that requires detail

The women who inspire me all have one thing in common, they are all selfless – they want to do good first

A noble intent is the essential part of leadership. The future is only sustainable when we learn that we’re all in this together. WE not ME. Source 

Working with me is not easy. According to Megan my strength is

I have never met someone with so much passion and enthusiasm for the future of an industry and the planet.I have also never met anyone who has a farm ute equipped with lipstick and perfume and kick arse gumboots, what a total boss.    

but it can be exhausting keeping up with me

She has a collective of creative ideas constantly being pumped out of her mind, that I often find myself scratching my head wondering where the hell it all comes from and where I should be up to in the conversation at the time because she moves so fast! 

My mentor keeps me under control with the rule I can only discuss one thing per phone call. If I have something I want to discuss I email him first. He emails me back with the reminder ” Focus on the strategy ( what you want to achieve) not the the tactics How you are going to achieve it) . Write me your strategy”

“Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

Strategy is the “what” part of the equation and helps you answer the question, “What are we trying to accomplish?”

Every business has limited resources and deals with a competitive landscape. The more it does of one thing, the less it can do of another. This concept leads to tactics, or the “how” part of the equation. Your tactics help you answer the question, “How are we going to accomplish our goal?”

Ultimately, a good way to think about the difference between the two is that strategy acts as a guide to a set of actions  teams will undertake.  Source 

Our Art4Agriculture journalist the adorable Bessie Thomas deals with me by have 5 writing pads she always puts in front of her because the story I ring her to ask her to write inevitably turns into five stories

I am always looking for people who share my ethos and are successfully putting it into practice. Last week I was inspired by an article I read about Pip Job  and I just went wow

Pip is focused on building social and cultural capital.NAB’s head of corporate responsibility strategy Sasha Courville admires the work Job has done in breaking down the social barriers for farming families to help achieve productive and sustainable environmental outcomes.

“The only way to have a strong agricultural industry into the future is that we recognise the importance of people, the importance of mental wellbeing, the importance of the environment and these are all key elements in strong businesses and strong communities.

Whilst I know of Pip I have never had a conversation with her and was keen to learn more and knowing Megan had worked with her I sought Megan’s assessment and Megan was wax lyrical with the advice “call her Lynne talk to her – she is amazing -she is a doer and she so kicking goals” I am looking forward to our conversation immensely

I am also very lucky to work with a number of selfless young women in agriculture who make up the Young Farming Champions network

All of these young women first and foremost have the future of agriculture as the foundation of everything they do. They know that the key success is cross sector engagement and understanding only when you have a world view and compassion can you build a resilient network of colleagues.  They are know that being being communicate and connect effectively is a critical leadership skill and they are all undertaking personal and professional development to help themselves and each other be courageous and outgoing future influences and innovators.

I also want to acknowledge the female members of the Art4Agriculture team who each selflessly contribute to the future of agriculture and my well being

I am also very grateful to the three women I have work with in wool ( Emily King),grains ( Belinda Cay) and cotton ( Sophie Davidson) who all have a great passion for their industry and work tirelessly with my team to grow The Archibull Prize to deliver world class outcomes for farmers and the student participants.

Thank you to Erika who supports me when I let the frustration show and “react rather than respond”. and reminds me to not sweat the small stuff and tells me her door is always open and there is always a her house

I also want to thank my best friend Bev  – I have no idea what I would do without you.

I am also grateful to Amazon, my Kindle and Apple TV who always manage to recommend a good feel movie or a book that make me laugh

So please if you find yourself like me sinking into a black hole and putting on your big girl pants just isn’t doing it for you, learn to say no, fill up your own well until it overflows, surround yourself with inspiring people, get professional help, let your friends know you are struggling and most of all keep believing in yourself, focus on the good your life and being the best version you can be .

and thank you John – i don’t think I have ever heard of a more bizarre career pathway but I am glad you  took the journey  

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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