Tips for Trainers – Leadership and Fly Fishing

Leadership and Fly Fishing

I am a fly fisher–and I love it. It’s one of the only things I do that allows me to focus on one thing at a time. My mind rarely wanders to the 2,001 things on my ‘to do’ list as there is always something happening or something to do. It takes an incredible amount of focus and mending of techniques. Some days you are incredibly successful, and other days… not so much.

Fly fishing offers me a wonderful escape: a chance for a few precious hours or days to leave behind the mad pace of today’s society. A chance to savor the simple, satisfying pleasures to be found in my line whistling through the air or my rod bent with the gratifying heft of a good fish.Michelle Fly Fishing

It did, however, take me awhile to make that realization. I found fly fishing to be a lot tougher than I had expected. I nearly gave up. I am used to picking things up very rapidly and I was astounded by how much there was to learn. I was hopelessly discouraged, after my initial exposure found me overwhelmed by what seemed to be an endless array of complexities, dozens of casting techniques, and enough knots to hold Houdini captive.

But I kept pushing myself. Tried a new casting technique, tried a new fly, hired a guide to help mend my mistakes. Then one day I realized that I could improve my casting by focusing on my goals, adjusting my techniques and following through with commitment-all things I instruct my clients to do to meet their business objectives. Pretty profound moment for me.

There are several techniques in Leadership that remind me of Fly Fishing: Focus, Adaptability, Passion, Desire and Continuous Improvement. You have to know when to untangle a knot and when to cut your losses–all of these are core components of a good leader as well.

This morning as you are reading this newsletter, I’m out standing in a river casting away. The Caddis fly is hatching on the Arkansas River and the brown trout are hungry. Here’s to hoping I am reeling in a big one.

Have fun out there,
Michelle Cummings
Owner/Trainer/Big Wheel
Training Wheels