Should my chickens be able to live the EOS Life?

Should my chickens be able to live the EOS Life?

We are approaching my favorite day of the year! A three day weekend after a day with my family. My favorite way to spend the day is outdoors! But one thing is for sure: I toast the start of the holiday season with an eggnog latte.Every year, that latte reminds me that...

read more
Finding the Optimal Chicken Interaction

Finding the Optimal Chicken Interaction

I was talking with a business owner last week, and she mentioned she had an Instagram blog titled "My chickens are in love with my husband." Then she told me how, that very morning, one of her hens had flown up on the windowsill and started pecking at the window. She...

read more
Addressing My Wrong Chicken, Right Seat Issue

Addressing My Wrong Chicken, Right Seat Issue

It has been a while since I last wrote about my chicken adventures. In late June, our flock grew to 20. Our three broody hens hatched 14 peeps. At some point, I’ll share that whole rather stressful adventure, but for now, I’ll skip over becoming a chicken grandma...

read more
Cheers to a Good Night’s Sleep

Cheers to a Good Night’s Sleep

One night last week, I felt restless.  I couldn’t fall asleep, as I was thinking about everything I needed to do to prepare for and care for my new “peeps.”  I was thinking about building a bigger chicken coop that could house more chicks, trying...

read more
Effectively Onboarding my new “Peeps”

Effectively Onboarding my new “Peeps”

I want to preface this article with a confession.  When I started writing about chickens over a year ago, I honestly thought I would run out of things to talk about.  I mean, how exciting can chickens be?  And how many ways can you tie...

read more

Regaining my Chicken Mojo

I write this with a heavy heart.  Late last week, we lost six of our eight chickens.   Things were going so well.  The chickens had picked up on the remodeling vibe and asked that we provide them with some additional outdoor living space.  So, we expanded beyond their...

read more
Should my chickens be able to live the EOS Life?

Should my chickens be able to live the EOS Life?

We are approaching my favorite day of the year! A three day weekend after a day with my family. My favorite way to spend the day is outdoors! But one thing is for sure: I toast the start of the holiday season with an eggnog latte.

Every year, that latte reminds me that I want to make my own eggnog, but all my research shows that the longer it ages, the better it tastes (though my husband would argue it never tastes good). Well, this is the year for me to make eggnog!

In my search for the perfect recipe I learned that eggnog was invented as a way to use up an abundance of eggs from early fall, when hens are laying aplenty due to the abundance of sunlight.  With sufficient sunlight, hens will lay an egg approximately every 25 hours. Sufficient sunlight is about 15-16 hours/day. Without less light, egg production slows down significantly.

The egg production from my 10 hens is currently around 1 egg per day.  In fact, none of my new peeps have laid an egg (at least I don’t think they have), even though they are 21 weeks old.

So, understanding the importance of sunlight for egg production, I have two choices: accept my measly harvest of eggs or put a light in their coop to make up for the sunlight deficiency.

The logical choice is to light up the coop. But there are potential negative impacts to their health. As we know, winter is the season to rest and rejuvenate, and if I keep my chickens working through winter, it could reduce their life expectancy.

So what is more important? Eggs or hen longevity?

How many of us are faced with similar choices – rest or keep working?  Do we keep pushing through the exhaustion in order to produce more, or do we allow ourselves time to rest? 

What about your employees? Are you allowing them time to rest and rejuvenate?  Does your vacation policy support allowing employees to unplug from their work and really rest, or do you encourage them to check in during their time off?  

In some of the companies I work with, people carry like a badge of honor that they work seven days a week or they work until 11pm every night. I know plenty of people who love their jobs, but if it consumes your or your employees’ lives, is it possible that that love has morphed into something unhealthy? Some people use work as a filler because they have no idea what to do when they aren’t working.

What if your work, or your employees’ work, were more than a filler? What if it work could be something you loved but also allowed you to follow other passions?

In his book The EOS Life, Gino Wickman defines the EOS life to mean: 

  1. Doing work you love
  2. With people you love
  3. Making a huge difference
  4. Being compensated appropriately
  5. With time for other passions

My goal when working with my clients is to help them live their EOS life and to make that possible for everyone who is a part of their company.  

If you are ready to experience what that would mean to you, your employees and your business, email me and we can start your journey together!

For me, my EOS life will likely include some aged eggnog and hens who can relax over the winter, poised to hit record-setting egg production in 2022!

Happy Holidays!

Finding the Optimal Chicken Interaction

Finding the Optimal Chicken Interaction

I was talking with a business owner last week, and she mentioned she had an Instagram blog titled “My chickens are in love with my husband.” Then she told me how, that very morning, one of her hens had flown up on the windowsill and started pecking at the window. She told the hen her husband wasn’t home, so she flew down and laid an egg right next to one of his shoes.

I guess I’m not the only one who writes about chickens? 

But then I started to think about my chickens. They are definitely not looking for me. In fact, whenever they see me approach the coop, they scatter with haste.

Why the difference in how these two sets of chickens respond to human interaction? Well, I’m not an animal behavioral scientist, but I think it has to do with the type of interaction they received in their early peep-formative weeks.

This woman shared that she brought her peeps home when they were a few days old, and everyone was holding them, so they got used to human interaction and felt safe. 

My chickens were not held at a young age. They were raised by their momma hen, and that hen was very scared of me, my husband and especially my inquisitive hunting dogs.

I’d like to think there is some common ground between chickens who love their owners and those that are deathly scared of their owners. And this common ground is established according to the amount of interaction the chickens experience early on.

The same might be true when it comes to interacting with members of our own flocks. If we have too much interaction, we risk smothering each other, but if we don’t have enough, we lose connection.

Maintaining the appropriate level of interaction takes intentionality. When implementing EOS, we teach the importance of keeping the team connected by establishing a good meeting pulse. This meeting pulse instills accountability, enhances communication, improves team health, and accelerates results.

In the era of Covid, it has been challenging to find the right pulse to stay connected, which can have negative effects on key relationships. I also believe it gives us an excuse to neglect our more challenging relationships, both personally and professionally.

As you look at the relationships in your life, how do you see them functioning? Do you sense a lack of connection and alignment? If you want to gain traction toward your vision, you need everyone connected and moving in the same direction.  

If you want a proven process that can help accelerate your business in the right direction, I’d love to introduce you to EOS. Together, we can get the entire team aligned and working toward a healthy future. 

Exciting Announcement (and it isn’t about chickens)

Life is good out in the country.  Our little chicks are now 11 weeks old.  We have at least three young roosters (properly called cockerels).  It is so entertaining listening to them learn how to crow.  Quite honestly, I find it much more enjoyable than listening to Oden, our old rooster.  A couple of weeks ago, one of our young hens (properly called a pullet) laid an egg.  It was so small compared to our other eggs.
 
I believe this enjoyment came from addressing my issues with Oden.  Yes, he still needs to be reminded who is at the top of the pecking order.  Yes, he still makes me a bit nervous at times.  But, overall, everything changed for me once we came to a new understanding.  And now, I’m enjoying being a chicken mama.
 
I have heard similar expressions of enjoyment from my clients after implementing EOS.  Here are a few quotes from my clients:

  • We finally have the right people in the right seats so we can focus on the more pressing issues
  • I have more energy for my business than I have had in years
  • My board has fully bought into our vision and has committed extra resources to ensure we achieve it
  • My team is finally working together to solve problems, rather than pointing fingers
  • I am fired up about our 10-year target! And the team loves it, too!

This energy coming from my clients fueled my desire to take the next step in my EOS career. So, after attending the training, I am now a Professional EOS Implementer, one of only 375 worldwide. 

EOS (The Entrepreneurial Operating System) is a powerful system that takes a holistic, self-sustaining approach to building a great company.  It helps business owners get the most out of their businesses.  We have delivered over 91,000 full-day sessions for more than 11,900 companies. As a result, these companies:

  • Crystallize their vision, getting everyone on the same page and rowing in the same direction;
  • Gain tremendous traction by building discipline and accountability into the organization; and
  • Create a healthy, functional, and cohesive leadership team and company. 

For actual client testimonials, visit www.eosworldwide.com/testimonials or www.eosworldwide.com/eosstory to watch a short 4-minute video.
 
Want to see how your company is performing? Take an organizational check-up here.
 
This real-world, proven system is also captured in the award-winning book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.  You can get a copy here or send me an email and I’ll send you a free copy. 
 
If you know of a business owner/entrepreneur who is frustrated and/or looking to get more out of their business, I’d appreciate a referral.  You have my word: I’ll care for them like I care for my chickens, and they will thank you for it!
 
Cheers to enjoying a little EOS in our lives!

Addressing My Wrong Chicken, Right Seat Issue

Addressing My Wrong Chicken, Right Seat Issue

It has been a while since I last wrote about my chicken adventures. In late June, our flock grew to 20. Our three broody hens hatched 14 peeps. At some point, I’ll share that whole rather stressful adventure, but for now, I’ll skip over becoming a chicken grandma and instead turn my attention (and your attention) back to my mean rooster, Oden. If you recall, a few months ago I wrote an article titled “Right Seat, Wrong Chicken.” Oden’s behavior continued to escalate after recovering from the Great Chicken Massacre. It got to the point that I was working my chicken duties around his schedule, i.e., only entering the run when he was in the coop, which resulted in late nights and early mornings. 

A few weeks ago, my chicken coach came to visit. She marched right into the run and headed toward Oden. He sensed her lack of fear and retreated. Then she caught him and put him upside-down. And once a chicken is upside-down, the balance of power shifts—at least for the person who put him upside down. I held Oden for a while, and we eventually let him resume his daily activities. But I soon learned that until I caught him, he would still be aggressive with me. So, the following week—I did it! I caught Oden myself and held him upside down. Now I am at the top of the pecking order, and Oden has become a “Right Chicken, Right Seat” member of my flock.  

I can think of two ways to pivot this story toward business: overcoming our fears or becoming a better leader. Given the current shortage of employees, I’m going to pivot toward leadership. 
Most employers are struggling to find people to fill their open positions, especially people who show up on time and want to do the work. This shortage results in either settling for less-than-ideal candidates or slowing growth until more employees can be hired. 

It might help to think about the reasons for the employee shortage. After surviving the pandemic, many people have changed their priorities, and this shift has impacted the way they view their work. They may be less willing to take a job just to earn a paycheck. Based on my research, there isn’t a shortage of employees, but rather a shortage of enticing opportunities. I’d like to offer up three questions that may help you reframe your approach to attracting and retaining your ideal employee.

  1. Is there consistency between what you say you want and what you accept? As we say in EOS, you get what you tolerate. In a time when finding qualified employees is very difficult, it may be tempting to tolerate employee behavior that is contrary to your core values. But that behavior is eroding your culture and lowering the standard for everyone. Addressing that employee with clear examples of the type of behavior that you won’t tolerate is the best way to tackle the problem.  If he or she can’t adjust their behavior, you will need to make the hard decision to let them go. It has been my experience that such decisions are rewarded as other employees step up to fill the void.
  2. Are you clear about your vision and your core values?  Are you using those to inform your hiring decisions? A person with passion for your vision who demonstrates your core values on a daily basis will outperform any other employee. If you share your vision and core values during the recruiting and hiring process, the odds of attracting an ideal candidate will increase.  Yes, it will narrow down the number of candidates, but the quality of the candidates will be much higher.  
  3. Are you managing your employees in such a way that they can’t imagine not working for you? This can be an uncomfortable question to answer. But if you can answer it in the affirmative, you will have an advantage over other companies competing for the same pool of candidates.  What would it take to have employees who are fiercely loyal to you and your company? (Hint, it isn’t a higher salary.)

If after answering those questions you find that there are opportunities for improvement, I’d like to introduce you to EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), an operating system that helps owners and their leadership teams get what they want from their businesses.  When implementing EOS, I teach how to utilize a simple set of tools that help you clarify your vision, gain traction on that vision by instilling discipline and accountability throughout the organization, and then transform your leadership team into a healthy, cohesive, fun-loving group of people who actually like working together.  This system will help you run a better business and, quite frankly, run a better life.  

To get started on regaining control of your business, attracting the right people and accelerating your growth, all you need to do is email me. I can tell you that this system worked for me personally: ever since I addressed my Right Seat, Wrong Chicken issue, I have been able to live a better chicken mama life.